Good Time


It’s July and the world is a mirage.


In the daytime, in the sunshine, you float

as though untouchable, the lovely afterglow


of grief hanging around your body like a corona.


Inside a department store of the shopping mall,

a little boy with a harelip gazes at the posters


of male models and their pretty mouths.


An older woman holding an expired coupon

stands at the counter screaming for the manager.


Out in the parking lot, a teenage girl hides

behind a car, the spoon inside her belly

scooping and scooping.


All of it is somehow so petty and delightful.


You’ve spent your life thinking about

things you shouldn’t. The sex that led

to your conception, for example,


fraught or perhaps tender, the light on the lake

flashing as though in ecstasy, or agony.


Was the very act that made you as quietly


violent as all this, as lush and ridiculous?

Nothing in this world seems real: the sky blue


as cotton candy and the starlings lodged

in the sycamore above you

shrieking as though from very far away.


Perhaps, in the end, we can never

love something as much as we already have.


The world is verdant. It’s shimmering.

Theadora Siranian is the recipient of Small Orange Journal’s 2019 Emerging Woman Poet Honor. She is a graduate of the MFA Program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her poetry has appeared in DIAGRAM, Meridian, Best New Poets, Ghost City Press, CONSEQUENCE, and Rust + Moth, among others. In 2013, she was a finalist for The Poet’s Billow Pangaea Prize, and in 2014 was shortlisted for both the Mississippi Review Prize and Southword’s Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize. She currently lives and teaches in Brooklyn.