Everyone Knows You’re Going to Live

Ama Reynolds, USA

Ama lives two minutes from the Atlantic Ocean. A professional copywriter by day, she is currently working on a memoir, as well as a poetry collection.

(Submitted by the author)

(So you might as well start trying. – Regina Spektor)

You can choose your own adventure.
Life is difficult.
Happy families are all alike, Ishmael.
I sing the song of myself - why
Is the measure of love, loss?

Flip it. There are a thousand turns.
More. Take a self-help book off
The shelf. Or read the one by
Lorrie Moore. Moore’s is better
Than all of them.

Don’t be a writer, she says. If you can
Be anything else, anything else at all,
Just do it. You won’t regret it.

Some of us are not so lucky. That’s
Where things get tricky; and the brain
Gets in and oh, she likes to talk a lot.

Ask her the time; she’ll tell you
How to make a watch.
Mention the present weather; she’ll
Give you a brief history of the universe.
Offer a tiny fact - your favorite color,
For instance; and you’re already having
Your first nervous breakdown.

The year is 1967.
You have 18 more to go before
The book ends. (She likes to metronome
The spine of the story to a song significant
To the novel’s era.) See, she always has
A beat going in her head but none as fast

None as fast as the one that’s her heart.

“Things can’t go on like this,” begins
The first sentence of her new book.
“No dear reader, they can’t,” she answers back.

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