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Speculative fiction writer from New York. For published work visit francoamatiwrites.com or buy me a coffee at ko-fi.com/francoamati

that place was a sad place,
but I’d still go back there for a bit
to live in younger skin
and drink the darkness up again
I don’t want to feel the pain
or bathe my face in warm streams
of salty tears,
but the quiet is always good,
a…

some friends plan, come up with ideas for things to do,
they reach out, check schedules, set dates and times —
these are the event-oriented friends…
other friends are the go-with-the-flow-type people —
you know, the respond-right-away-
without-thinking-much-about-it-type people —
they run on feeling and intuition, spontaneity and instinct
and let mood…

everyone is so fascinated by everything
as if common boredom were a crime
it’s all right to be unimpressed —
enthusiasm shouldn’t come so cheap
top shelf words get thrown around
to describe things that are just okay
when did the universe become so amazing?
when did having a fat…

is it a vacation if you spend it in the pits?
time off swimming in sewers, splashing barefoot in dirty streets
— gutters gushing, flood waters overflowing and too frightened
to feel your face…
eyelids twitching
and overcome with grief
yeah, this isn’t work,
but it still makes you…

is it better to miss by a mile or by just a few inches?
almost
almost…
you tell yourself
convinced the near misses mean something
tell yourself they taste vaguely like validation
but, then again, that’s a flavor you’re not very familiar with
… you’re used to a bitter palette…

they dance, they shake
they remember my name
they know me by my eyes
and my compassionate smile
they sing, they tremble
and I watch them move
in fits and starts
in painstaking ways
unable to control the bodies
they once masterfully owned
they wait, they pray
that one day…

I think there are people out there
who will help you simply because they are afraid
to be alone —
friend collectors
hoarders of human connection
acquaintance hunters
egoistic donors of time
agents of generosity, peddling selfishness in disguise of charity
there’s a kind of person who can’t stand the…

it’s the feeling of fresh air, walking down
a safe road where the people smile
and say hello
it’s not being afraid to be out at night
past sunset, savoring the arrival
of fall, the first leaves that have fallen
and the contrast between the last light
of the evening…

did you do it?
did you? did you do it?
huh, huh, huh
lay off…
with your peremptory ways
always insisting on my immediate attention
I am not — I repeat — I am not a creature of obedience
I am not subject to your imperious demands
draw it up now…

swivel chair, spin me somewhere
grand
you are creaky and turbulent
and, like life, you revolve
but can you resolve, me…
can you absolve me…
go against the movement of time, you
slick and squeaky chair
the window above you
shows an overgrown wilderness
set inside a broken-down
urban mess…

Franco Amati

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