Lucia Perillo
I Could Name Some Names

of those who have drifted through thus far of their allotted

seventy or ninety years on Earth

with no disasters happening,

whatever had to be given up was given up—

the food at the rehab facility was better than you would expect

and the children turned out more or less okay;

sure there were some shaky years

but no one’s living in the basement anymore

with a divot in his head where the shrapnel landed/or

don’t look at her stump. It is easy

to feel possessed of a soul that’s better schooled

than the fluffy cloud inside of people who have never known suchlike

events by which our darlings

are unfavorably remade. And the self

is the darling’s darling

(I=darling2). Every day

I meditate against my envy

directed against those who drift inside the bubble of no-trouble

—what is the percentage? 20% of us? 8%? zero?

Maybe the ex-president with his nubile daughters,

vigorous old parents and clean colonoscopy. Grrrr.

Remember to breathe. Breathe in suffering

and breath out blessings say the ancient dharma texts.

Still it does not seem right that some

are mountain-biking through the scrublands,

while she is here at Ralph’s Thriftway,

running her thumb over a peach’s bruise,

her leg a steel rod

in a mini-skirt, to make sure I see.

Found In Volume 40, No. 03
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  • Perillo
Lucia Perillo
About the Author

Lucia Perillo's most recent book is On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths (Copper Canyon Press, 2012). Among her many honors are the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and a MacArthur fellowship. She lived in Olympia, Washington before her death in 2016.