Read This!


This is my favorite poem

First Love
by Michael Waters

So what if you're living in Jersey
with a man who works for the phone company.
Your life must be miserable-
a name lost in a row of mailboxes

studding the loud, gravel drive,
your husband shaking the whole trailer
when he grunts onto you each night,
his workshirts souring in one corner.

So what if none of this is true
and your daughters grow lovely on lawn,
if your husband steps off the 5:14
asking, "Can we do nothing this evening?"

I imagine the fireplace, the flokati rug,
the cat sighing on her silk pillow.
So what if I live just across the river
and speak to the immigrant shopkeepers

or to no one, so what if I chain
my dog to a hydrant for hours, so what
so what if I buy a single porkchop for dinner.
So what if this life flows on, if I read

a passage in some Russian novella
and think of you, if I go to the table
to write this poem, but have nothing to say
except so what, so what, so what?

Michael Waters

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