Noam Chomsky on the radio, voice thin: the world will end. I spend my money on almond butter to feel better.
Water, of course, nuclear war over water. You half joke about canning fish. Next time,
buy more sardines. Everyone is talking about their old year, their new year, emailing petitions for the right to water.
I want to know: who sees the petitions I sign? I arm my house with five kinds of rice.
Pay down credit. Sign up for student loan forgiveness. I don’t believe in God, so there’s no one
to forgive my excessive use of bathwater, draining oily and soft, a little bit of blood, some of my body, with lavender.
Next time, buy oats and eggs, cashews. The sum of our stomachs, and worry. If flour is a wall, I’ll brush it
with oil, let war try to breach the slippery fullness of my hunger. I don’t know if we should have children.
What would we feed them? I petition the right to my grief.
Water and war and no children. I need your signature. Will you sign, sign, sign?
Ashley Roach-Freiman is a librarian and poet with work appearing or forthcoming in Bone Bouquet, THRUSH Poetry Journal, The Literary Review, Ghost Proposal, and Superstition Review. A chapbook, Bright Along the Body, is available from Dancing Girl Press. Find out more at ashleyroachfreiman.com. An interview with her also appears in Nightjar Review here.