The World Is Too Thin to Win a Beauty Pageant
The world, our world is made of paper—
inside, lampshades spill papered light.
On playgrounds bologna sandwiches
are cut with paper scissors. Children
prefer to chew bus tickets over spinach.
When we speak, sentences are billboards
glued with our bare tongues.
Birth certificates—a paper-thin
promise of lifetime warranty.
Death certificates—a recall
on all models that are beyond
repair. Our hearts—paperweights to keep
letters from reaching envelopes.
Lift yours and lick the words.
I will crack them like a squirrel.
Monika Zobel’s poems and translations have been published or are forthcoming in Redivider, DIAGRAM, Beloit Poetry Journal, Mid-American Review, The Adirondack Review, Guernica Magazine, West Branch, Best New Poets 2010, and elsewhere. A senior editor at The California Journal of Poetics and a former Fulbright grantee, Monika lives in Vienna, Austria.