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.