And Reality Never Happens Again

Lauren Bender

half through the night, I come downstairs a child, and
there has been another incident. half a sculpture, one
rib a skewer up, one time only asks if the man or woman
who severed it at the waist is satisfied, and when it says
this, I shiver in places I am severed without knowing it.
whole fleets of blue light flashing fill the streets that
I thought belonged to the little girl, a second bed she
could use when hers was too soft, until it hits me this is
not that story anymore. this story teaches us to be sad
through glass: reflective glass, roomfuls of glass, and
unshattered glass with more than enough left, if we all
wanted to sip. god, how I need to learn that hardly any of
this life is good enough. how little it has to do with them,
or anyone else's specific violence. it's safer to nod
when asked anything, to say yes, I completely agree and
don't you love me for it? But satisfaction is another
way to survive, and sometimes the only reason to, says
the jagged half-lit torso. I can't argue with that
(I completely agree and don't you). don't you think she
is doing the best she can? K asks. love is what it is,
not what you decided it should be. 
I want to be angry,
but unattainable satisfaction makes a good story, too.

Golden shovel: “And one woman says it, that she // is sad, and all of them nod, and another says
/ that she is angry, too.” – Jacqueline Jones LaMon


about the writer


Lauren Bender lives in Burlington, VT. Her work has appeared in Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Yes PoetryRabid OakOxidant EngineNat. Brut and others. You can find her on twitter @benderpoet.