portion of the artwork for Lauren Yates' poetry

Relapse
Lauren Yates

If a wrecking ball fell through the ceiling right now, I wouldn’t run.
I’d relish the scramble, apt as a totem pole amidst a school of fish.
If you don’t want to get hurt, just go around me.
You should know by now I’m always in the way.

If I were a totem pole amidst a school of fish,
I’d hope to be crushed at the center of a dance floor.
You should know by now I’m always in the way.
Disaster only strikes when we write it off.

I hope to be crushed at the center of the dance floor.
The ones who never knew me would reuse my obituary.
They’d know not to write off disaster.
They’d wrap their dishes in the newsprint when they moved uptown.

The ones who never knew me will reuse my obituary
for the thousands of others just like me.
They’ll wrap their dishes in newsprint when they move uptown.
They never pray for wrecking balls to crash through ceilings.

The thousands of others like me
never knew that expecting the worst could save lives.
I always pray for wrecking balls to crash through ceilings,
but this is not the answer.

Expecting the worst only saves lives
if your death is a surprise party that never happens.
This is not the answer.
You cannot think like this every day.

If your death is a surprise party that never happens,
you will stop believing that it is possible.
You cannot think like this every day.
Your fear will be the moans of a woman who’s not wet.

You will stop believing that what you want is possible.
If a wrecking ball falls through the ceiling right now, I won’t run.
I will moan through the fear even though I am not wet.
Just go around me if you don’t want to get hurt.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 39 | Winter 2013