Mick Foley Death Wish

by Skylar Alexander

Listen,

I want to rewrite myself to be more  

like the many-colored coats I wear;  

it should be easy since I don’t believe

in a soul, or any unchanging sense  

of self anyway.

 

Listen,

I want to love and not give in 

to despair, but

every day I’m despairing.

All I can do is sneeze and hope 

it’s because someone’s thinking of me. 

 

God— 

give me the strength

to channel my agony 

into something productive,

like getting skinny 

or writing grants to the NEA.

 

Listen,

I want to get to the point 

where I don’t need to

write poems to live— 

where I don’t have to

wrestle always with this

oiled menace

lurking in my chest. 

 

Listen,

I got to find an Iggy Pop

Lust for Life at a garage sale

that no one’s using. 

 

God—

it’d be nice to be immortal

like Mick Foley, but

I’d have to have  

a Mick Foley Death Wish—

a Mick Foley Courage to leap

from the top of my cage 

and walk away.

 

Listen,

Find me in the dark

graywash ghostly,

not yet fleshed out  

in color.

 

Listen,

the birds are singing.

I should be sleeping, but   

I’m awake. 

 

God—

I’m sorry, I can’t put on the face

that makes the small talk.  

Beholder Magazine 2020