Thursday, 9 March 2017

A poem by Allie Long

How to End Up Alone

You said you’d prefer I knock
on your door unannounced,
either out of indifference
or a craving for brief suspense:
FedEx man, old friend, stranger,
murderer, mother, father,
Jehovah’s Witness. I could
be any of those people,
but like quantum entanglement,
all other possibilities are annihilated
when you look through
the peephole. Some days,
I am a day-early package
and others, I am asking
for a moment to speak
about our Lord and Savior.
Some nights, we play
video games and maybe kiss,
and others, you tell me
you've been sleeping when
you clearly haven't. But how
am I supposed to know?
Your only idea of an invite
is a text at 2 am, though
I’m in no position to start
a semantics debate.
The radio silence
of overly compensatory
disinterest fills the airwaves,
connecting both ends
of our street with uncertainty.
One this is a bad time
is all it takes to ruin a friendship,
a fuck-ship, or whatever
the fuck kind of ship we're on.
As a girl, I needed others
to tell me my doll was prettier
than everyone else’s, or else
I’d lose interest in make-believe:
that moment of becoming
everything my doll was said to be,
my addiction to superlatives
beginning at the age of seven.
When I am not the drunkest,
we’re nothing, and when I am,
you aren’t, so we are still nothing.
I’ve never liked being equal:
comparison as a stand-in
for inclusion. Apparently,
you are the same way,
and so is everyone else
I’ve ever been more or less than
of anything.

Allie Long is an economics and English double-major at the University of Virginia. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Words Dance, Bird's Thumb, Yellow Chair Review, as well as others. Read more of her work at

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