Pardon Me While I Act So Alive

Poetry by Lily Kate Anthony, 2023

I don’t know if you still think I’m beautiful

after the night on the river

when I called you

in tears,

and the fight in your driveway

where I kicked at the sky,

and the carton of eggs that I burst

on your windowsill,

and my jazzy little sprint through the Deli

just last week

with a glass of Blue Moon,

knowing you were shooting pool

at the tables

and would see me run by.

I don’t know if I should believe

the psychics of YouTube,

when they tell me with confidence

that you think of my fire

day and night,

like a zoetrope flickering

in the back of your mind

even when your girlfriend sleeps over,

or the version of you

that can’t look at me straight

in the living room

and wears dark circles

in the seedy light

as he tells me

I’m wild.

I don’t get answers from the tarot

like I used to,

and I stopped shaking the Magic 8

of my heart when I began to feel seasick.

I can’t pick petals off daisies all day.

I don’t know if you still think I’m beautiful,

after all these antics

and amateur pyrotechnic displays,

and I don’t know if you’re seeing me straight

or if I need to ditch the stupid rose-colored lens,

but I do know that when I see you,

and I know you see me,

and I do something ridiculous,

I don’t seem to mind.