Thursday Poem


In real life
you are aging at the rate of a short-lived sitcom

and the only kind of loneliness worth laughing about
is throwing out half a frozen meal for two

because leftovers
are never funnier the next day.

In real life
there is no such thing as a gritty reboot — it’s just

fucking gritty all the time, mate,
because your best-laid plans are always someone else’s

chance to crash a car into the crowd at a
men’s rights charity concert.

In real life
the nice guys pull out of the race

when their tires are slashed or they turn back
because they think they left the iron on

and no one adheres to sports film clichés anyway — 
we’re all selfish and we want that trophy.

In real life
you’ll never make it out of your homophobic small town

alive, so your left hand begs for water
while your right hand swings an ax

your left foot drags a church bell
while your right foot taps — S.O.S., S.O.S., S.O.S.

by Chris Tse
from Poetry (February 2018)