The Cost of Poetry

Moonlight reaches down and strokes my cheek,

Waking me to her smile.


That’s what a real poet would say, right?


‘It’s just a hobby.’


‘Emily, you’re going to college to find a real job, not write poetry.’


I will starve,

The wolves say.

Oh, they’re not wolves in the literal,

But with suits, ties, fake chapped-lip grimaces.


Cufflinks that cost precisely one poem.


I will drown in my own debt,

Economy replacing passion,

Lethargy replacing my skin.


‘What do you like to do?’


Write poetry.


I do not mention how it wakes me at night,

Fingers tremulous with unbirthed words,

Images flowing out of my head and into ink onto a page…

No, that’s too personal;


I refuse to sell myself,

My dreams,

My words,

For sorry little bills.


But I must,

So I do,


But I save a little piece of myself

Put it away

And write what they like to hear.

This poem is about: 
My community
Our world


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