But I will not learn to die
Before my life is over.

Sitting outside all day
Reading trying to—I, I.

Some say—
No one is the only one.

August 4, 1981, and then
The world began.—No.


Without audience or audiation,
Before the invention of even audiotapes,

I’ve felt this world before.
Pleasure pleasure pain boredom,

It didn’t make a pattern.


And if it had, well, I’ve seen patterns

In seashells & psyches et cetera,
Shivering inside the minutes,

Pleasure pleasure boredom pain.


                       … unchanged, unchanged … – Louise Gluck


I still wear the same clothes I had then

(At work I never drank the coffee. I saw how they didn’t clean the pot.     

Every 10:15 I drove to The Coffee Lover,

One and a quarter blocks away. 

Though it was young, my credit card debt

Had already been through a lot.

I left the back door of my apartment unlocked because a locksmith …

Oh, it doesn’t matter—fast forward. … And the locksmith,

Knowing the door would be open, slipped

In and stole my computer. He probably stripped

It for parts, the cops explained, so they would never recover

It. I texted constantly with this guy I had met

Somewhere too boring to mention. A writing residency, okay?),

The same thoughts thrown down twisted, bunched on the floor of me, unchanged


& if I’m wrong again this time
I’m wrong again it’s fine. Everyone
& I ran out of the coffee shop
when a car hit someone on a bike.
Police lights coronated
the night parking lot & I felt
the season. From her body
I fell to this stepped-on land.
Bought dresses & threw fits.
I loved. & then He carried me through.

Lucy Biederman is a doctoral student in English Literature/Creative Writing at the University of Louisiana and the author, with Susan Solomon, of an illuminated chapbook, As I Walked Into the Middle of the Night Squinting (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2013). She has two other chapbooks, and poems of hers have appeared recently or are forthcoming in BOMBlog, Denver Quarterly, subTerrain, H_NGM_N, and The Tusculum Review.