Facts for Survival

by Joanna Fuhrman

Joanna Fuhrman

I read somewhere that Juicy Fruit,
that flat enigma of condensed nostalgia,
is still chewed by fifty-three year old
human resource managers in towns
that border Delaware. It tastes best
in winter on the beach when the ship's
deck is cleaned by animatronic flies.
This is why no one believes in love anymore.
We can still feel it in our toes, the emotion
lifting the ceiling towards the giant swans,
but the idea of love has vanished like a smell.
We carry within us our "lowly origins,"
or is it our "lively organs?" Something or other
is wriggling through our ribcages letting us
know that children are better bought than born.
There's nothing glamorous about muck,
even if it's well lit as in Film Noir.
But, yes, I have seen people sitting on curbs,
planning temporary revolutions to coincide
with Macy's yearly white sale. I've seen
their jewel-like flames cracking apart and tried
to steal the shards to get me high.
Beauty and terror—terror and beauty—
those would be good names if I ever
adopted a pair of puppy schnauzers.
Truth is, I have in some private moments
felt the power of the Shekinah lurking in
an empty Aunt Jemina-shaped bottle,
but being hungry always makes me
too distracted to write anything profound.
I'd rather just damn the pancakes
and stuff my face with soy bacon.
The moral hedonists are hiding under the boardwalk.
I know because they control my libido
with their holy lasers, and write my official
biography with rebranded cryogenic sperm.
The noble purpose needed to achieve completion is,
as you imagined, kaput. I'm sorry,
I borrowed it when I ran out of baking power
and wanted the muffins to rise.
I'm also, of course, sorry to hear
you've become a grotesque mirror of your mom.
But it's really not so bad. Is it?
At least, your mother knew how to clean a coffee pot,
which is more than I could say for your dad.

Last updated November 24, 2022