I’m the mayor of Grief Town
all my citizens come to my town hall
everything I say is interesting.
meetings include hard-hitting issues like
and at the end I pull out one of my teeth with my hands
only to discover it has tiny mushrooms growing inside
I give my blessings to the meek
and pity and mercy for anyone I think sucks
then I open up the town hall
and let other people pontificate about whatever they want
a bald woman imparts fantasies about her pet therapist
a greasy man reads from his autofiction manuscript
a crow expresses their dissatisfaction over alleged electoral malpractice
and like a good mayor I sit back, relax, and listen to it all
I have many devastating revelations about what it means to be human
and I become toothless
one day I decide: enough of this.
and I smother my citizens to death
and I curse the statue of my likeness in the middle of the town
not as fun as originally thought
but mostly because I find out that I can’t save the world
the way I thought I would when I was 14
I announce that I’m an entrepreneur the way other entrepreneurs do it
(you just start calling yourself that one day)
and I make sadness my business.
I install a neon sign in an empty building next to a drug store that says
“MY BUSINESS IS SADNESS
and I pat myself on the shoulder: someone has to
day and night I work to cure people of their
and no one ever talks about heartbreak
but too many clients want me to cure them of their grief
and once again I discover that I can’t
one day I decide: fuck this.
and I burn down the building
and I put my hands in the flame but my body is still cold
so I realize it’s probably time to stop playing around
I make a decision: I’m becoming a wife
Grief asked and I said YES!
it happens all the time.
and my father wishes us well
Years pass, until I stop looking like the mayor
I threaten with divorce many times
and never follow through
Grief is mad at me because I’m late for dinner every night
Grief is mad about a lot of the things I do, and we never discuss it
when night falls onto Grief Town
Grief sleeps besides me, snoring
And me, restless, dreaming of teeth