A Karaoke Life Poetry

local_library A Karaoke Life

by

Published in Issue No. 213 ~ February, 2015

If I played guitar, if I sang, I’d return the hours

to the hourless clock, my hands,

 

the wax to the candle. I’d raise every man’s eye

from the lie

he’s carved in the table.

 

But I don’t play an instrument. Nor do I sing

for anyone’s pleasure. Yet there are times

 

when the only story I want

is one I’m inventing. Doesn’t a moon ripen

 

a voice? Or, is it the tide? It can’t be

what’s left behind—the bits of hollowed-out

 

bone and brine. It can’t be that after a night

of debauchery, there’s only dishes.

 

Trying to differentiate has to be more

than a hobby. I know I confused

 

lyrics you wrote for truth. I know I mistook

the shape of your palm for a talisman.

But, lover, listen.

 

You, who’re outside smoking a cigarette, tagging

your initials on strangers’ walls.

Listen.

 

We’ve got to stop them.

We’ve got to stop

 

our unlived lives from climbing onstage, putting

someone else’s words in our mouths.

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Sarah Wetzel is the author of River Electric with Light, which won the 2013 AROHO Poetry Publication Prize and is forthcoming from Red Hen Press, and Bathsheba Transatlantic, which won the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry and was published in 2010. Sarah currently teaches creative writing at The American University of Rome while splitting time between Manhattan, Tel Aviv, and Rome. You can read more of her work at www.sarahwetzel.com.