I stood in line outside the cultural lexicon for hours but they said I was funny-looking and my mother dressed me ugly and they wouldn’t let me in and I tried to tell them that I was a personal friend of one of the owners, but he wasn’t there that day; he was out having his hairline reseeded, and I useta swear I’d never fake a nervous breakdown, but those god-damn antidepressants make you numb where you least expect it, and I guess it’s too late to be a trophy wife, even with a makeover, but I’m really lucky to have the kind of relationship where we complement each other like a gyrating pelvis and a fetus; no, no thanks, I gave at the orifice with a joyous disregard for the petty conventions of meaning and innuendo; I guess if it weren’t for lies, exaggerations and small talk I’d lead a pretty boring existence, but I make do with whatever I can get my hands on at present: the unused present is a huge responsibility, and a used responsibility is a huge present with a sparkly bow except for you can’t have your cake in bed because of the crumbs and the candles; and the frosting gets all over the spankings besides, but those crumbs are the worst because they attract mice; however, after hearing a radio show about the pleasures of feeding birds, luring vermin seemed quite entertaining, so we decided to encourage crows in our yard, which was easy cause all we had to do was throw garbage out on the lawn where they rip up the trash bags to get at it anyway and the neighbors complained but we said they were being discriminatory and they never did stop whining but I ignored the Cold War and it went away eventually, didn’t it? the malice of the blankety is a major nuisance when it’s disturbed, and if you’re not batshit ballistic you’re basically not paying attention—I’ll bet you thought all those attentions were free and I’m no lady but I like the way you slowly dissolve in alcohol and I’ll have the last millennium sunny-side up, supersize homeland-security side; hold the ketchup, hold the mustard gas, hold me close, I’m gonna hold my breath till I
F. J. Bergmann edits poetry for Mobius: The Journal of Social Change and imagines tragedies on or near exoplanets. She has competed at National Poetry Slam as a member of the Madison, WI, Urban Spoken Word team. Her work appears irregularly in Abyss & Apex, Analog, Asimov’s SF, and elsewhere in the alphabet. She thinks imagination can compensate for anything.
Editor’s Note and Image Credit: A farcical rant on society and relationships—in effect, theater of the absurd; a complementing abstract image [pngtree].