Dear Future Me (#12) by Lena Moses-Schmitt

Here’s how it’s going lately.
This morning the minute I sat down
to write a poem
the men outside in orange vests
and hard, white skies strapped over the heads
started up their jackhammering.
D, I typed, and set off an explosion of sound.
My thoughts vibrated in my jaw. Every bandage
on my brain ripped clean off. All the wise
and gorgeous things I want the skill to say
began to circle the drain. And I was left
with this: Why do I like poems?
Life continues, I guess,
except it’s very loud.
Lately I’m too tired to care
about getting old. I never put my phone down.
I scroll many futures away. I sleep many futures
away, I write them away, the longer I live,
the more the future disappears.
Then again, at least when I type tysm
I feel like a cool little snake
wearing sunglasses. Don’t mind me.
I’m working through all the mind trash.
Do you think of harming yourself?
No, but I have other desires.
I’m afraid. What if you’re someone
you don’t want me to know? What if
I’m someone you’ll wish to disown?
God, just leave me alone for once. Yesterday
on my just-before-dark walk
I saw a few pretty things: a gasp of birds
flirting through the brown barcode of trees
in the park, a shadow of a half-ladder
casting an H onto a roof, as if the light
was starting to spell House.
I imagined the sun with its giant typewriter,
smashing down the keys
and was relieved…I’m just another person.
There is such little use for fear.
But of course there are the things you know
and then the things you feel.


Lena Moses-Schmitt‘s work appears in Best New Poets, The Believer, Indiana Review, The Rumpus, Cincinnati Review, Ninth Letter,, and elsewhere. She lives in Berkeley, California.