I used Groupon to pay for a cruise,
then paddled behind in a dinghy.
We get to dine at the captain's table
whenever he's away.
That's when you showed me
how to walk a lobster
before breaking down in tears,
as I count the rows
to the emergency exit because
there's only one wing on this plane.
We drove to the center of the city,
but it doesn't exist.
Yet rejection still stings, making words
out of letters found
in the dumpster behind Fish and Fancy,
stirring the cinders like a soup.
There are cupcakes for celebrating
that day too, and punch by the ladle
tapped against your chest in place of
an expectorant or wood rot or I'm sorry.
Next up, the song of the summer,
and this email I really shouldn't send,
the way an octopus gives a hug
to the hurt machine.
It might be easier to draw a picture,
although it's important to accessorize
with glue guns and plastic,
with health clinic waiting lines,
with imitation star charts,
and sleeping pills next to the bed.
Author Bio: Alan Gilbert is the author of two books of poetry, The Treatment of Monuments and Late in the Antenna Fields, as well as a collection of essays, articles, and reviews entitled Another Future: Poetry and Art in a Postmodern Twilight.