by Jacob Martin
I totally overshopped,
which made the walk home harder:
the plastic bags I carried sagged
and caused my arms to burn.
(When would I learn to accept a ride from a friend?)
I felt like one of the geese
who sometimes cross the street
despite being built to fly, their plump bodies
teetering on black, webbed feet;
you would think that drivers
would work the geese into the asphalt
like everything else that got in the way,
but somehow they held the power
to break the fast flow of cars.
The closest thing I have to a philosophy
is this: You have to say yes to the Universe
once in a while. Things could end badly, I know-
the man of your dreams could go to China
for ten months, then tell you over the phone
that he never loved you, which turns
your heart as brittle as an old bone-
but saying no is just too easy.
I probably should have played it safe
when the cabbie offered me a ride.
Instead I climbed inside and reached
into one of the bags for an iced coffee,
which, and this is just like me,
I spilled all over the seat.
The cabbie didn’t seem to mind.
When he pulled up to the apartment,
I asked, How much do I owe you?
Nothing, he said, I was going this way.
I insisted that he take a crumpled five,
and he did, and I was home free.