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The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2021

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APRIL 2021 Issue
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So What If I’m Not Ready To Leave Yet?


I like it in the house where it’s warm. Where
my dog’s paws smell of hot sleep and corn chips
and every day is sad but the same. So what if I like
the way we check on each other now, even if the forecast
doesn’t change: boxed light and ticker tape, a stiff gin
to remind the day to turn.  I used to be bummed 
by all there was to want and how little time we got 
in the life of a day to go get it. How every day was
a refresh, a menu of metrics to measure my worth with:
better light in an apartment, a better job, a boyfriend
my friends love louder, a happier way to have your cake
and eat it. But now, the life that could have been doesn’t
even make sense: I don’t want to secretly be a pop star, 
or a famous professor or a senator or whatever
depending on the day my whiteness makes me think
I can have—I’m working on it.  Let’s just say I crave less
and starve for little more than the dust of a beloved’s  
single dangling earing against stubble mid-hug
in a doorway, on a street corner. The wheeze and
wet air of laughter in a corner booth, palms
pounding the table in good story. A single slung arm
around a neck. This is the 354th straight day I have
closed my eyes and imagined this world: we do not return
to the plod of hard start times and efficient email follow ups,
the thirst for some almighty “better” fades like  
like footprints in a rainstorm. I call them all nightly.
I am in love with all things suddenly small and tender.
Flung wide open at the hinge and raw. A wire
scraped so far open, I could scream.

Contributor

Adam Falkner

Dr. Adam Falkner is a poet, educator and arts & culture strategist. He is the author of The Willies (Button Poetry, 2020) and Adoption (Winner of the 2017 Diode Editions Chapbook Award), and his work has appeared in a range of print and media spaces including on programming for HBO, NBC, NPR, in the New York Times, and elsewhere.

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The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2021

All Issues