we played the game before we knew
what would make marriage good.
before we understood what pleasure
there was in a screw.
before death put shoes
on our hands and made us crawl
all over the floor, begging
for another day. fuck past.
marry present. kill future.
in other words: love the one
you love. what we’re not gonna do
is whine about what might fix us.
pick a city and quiet our hearts.
pick a person and shut the hell up
about stuff that could have turned
out different. these were the options,
a three-legged dog racing for a ball.
fuck red. marry yellow. kill blue.
fuck happy. marry alive. kill skinny.
fuck kill. marry marry. kill fuck.
it doesn’t even have to make sense.
all we get to do is decide
to keep playing. fuck andrew garfield.
marry tobey maguire. kill tom holland.
Ablation is what the doctor called the procedure
done to the lining of my uterus.
My bleeding has ceased,
but I should never have a baby.
Ablation is also what happens to meteorites
when they pass through an atmosphere,
and why spaceships returning to Earth
have protective shielding.
Ablation is fire eating away
at the gear of a firefighter,
and it’s humans cooking the planet
’til the glaciers melt entirely.
Once I interrupted a piano lesson to tell my unamused instructor
today is the last day it will ever be March in 1995—
I have been worrying about time
decaying under my fingertips ever since.
Some days I think growing old
is an erosion of possibility.
I become less
exact with every choice I make.
Plus, I fret about the exact amount of days I have to live.
The number dwindles while I sleep.
Sorry, am I giving you anxiety?
May I offer this instead:
in a process of ablation
cast-off material from our newborn sun
became a circumstellar disk,
which then, in turn, became planetesimals,
then larger protoplanets, and finally full-blown planets,
on one of which life began, and survived
in a billion years of miracles
’til you, too, grew—
Catherine Weiss is a poet and artist from Maine. Their poetry has been published in Tinderbox, Up the Staircase, Fugue, perhappened, Birdcoat, Bodega, Counterclock, petrichor, HAD, and Flypaper Lit. Catherine is the artist behind the collaborative poetry chapbook/card deck I Wish I Wasn’t Royalty (Game Over Books, 2020). They are also the author of chapbook-length poem Fervor (Ginger Bug Press, 2021), full-length poetry collection Wolf Girls vs. Horse Girls (Game Over Books, 2021), and forthcoming collection Griefcake (Game Over Books, 2023). See Catherine in issues Ten and Thirteen. WEB