The Cost of Poetry

Moonlight reaches down and strokes my cheek,

Waking me to her smile.

 

That’s what a real poet would say, right?

 

‘It’s just a hobby.’

 

‘Emily, you’re going to college to find a real job, not write poetry.’

 

I will starve,

The wolves say.

Oh, they’re not wolves in the literal,

But with suits, ties, fake chapped-lip grimaces.

 

Cufflinks that cost precisely one poem.

 

I will drown in my own debt,

Economy replacing passion,

Lethargy replacing my skin.

 

‘What do you like to do?’

 

Write poetry.

 

I do not mention how it wakes me at night,

Fingers tremulous with unbirthed words,

Images flowing out of my head and into ink onto a page…

No, that’s too personal;

 

I refuse to sell myself,

My dreams,

My words,

For sorry little bills.

 

But I must,

So I do,

 

But I save a little piece of myself

Put it away

And write what they like to hear.

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Our world

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