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A List of Things That Slowly Kill Me by Anna Sharudenko

from East French Press: Poetry Power Hour by East French Press

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A List of Things That Slowly Kill Me

Glazed donuts, daffodils, black licorice,
Mold on the ceiling, the shame of once being illiterate,
Hydrogen cyanide in apple seeds and arsenic in the
White rice that my mom cooks is killing me and her,
Migraines, Advil, diabetes, Hemingway, Joyce, Dickens, Austen,
Me now & me 4 years ago
(call it wisdom, cynicism, or utter stupidity),
Poetry, law, love, raw lust, loss (or is it just change?),
Freeway lanes, a lifetime of being an immigrant, of being the
Only one who mispronounces “Caesar”
but quickly learns how to sound
American, being in love with love that lovingly loves love for the sake of loving is killing me,
Scorpion flies, centipedes, the unnecessary things, suffering before
It is necessary, egomaniacs, the know-it-alls, Big Brother, watery ketchup
Are all killing me.
My mom’s cancer, Dollar Tree, $4.99 for coconut water at Gelson’s,
Burning my hand when I cook oatmeal, self-help gurus, those
Profiting from the misery of others
&
Things that go rotten (milk, peaches, eggs, people’s promises and intentions)
They are all killing me

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from East French Press: Poetry Power Hour, released April 25, 2021

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