Alina Pleskova
Sacred Bath Bomb

So come my friends, be not afraid / We are so lightly here

     -- Leonard Cohen




We can’t take any of it 

with us to the other side of the veil

So what’s it matter if the huge soaking tub 

is mine or a moneyed stranger's? 

Repeat that to a mind unable to tune out 

how unhurried bliss & love minus

the pallor of scarcity are most attainable

for those who score shout-outs in hefty wills,

while some slice off a little Good Life

through grift or proxy, & others get legit

distracted by the concept of striving —

or as Jack just texted, We are but specks

in space & this is what you choose???


Here’s to the rest of us, fixated on cosmic dealings

ancient beyond human intervention.

Give us our daily digest of microplastics 

& plots to place ads in our dreams. 

Anonymous donors sponsored today’s witnessing

of Art & I treated myself to a bath bomb 

while reading about the demise of the Choco Taco

& why "no one” “wants” “to work” “anymore"


Among the many natural predators of poets,

mine include developers, executives, khaki-wearers, 

talking appliances & the people who respond,

every job I’ve had since adolescence.

I’m still holding out for dream gigs like UFO hotline operator

& the hot dog barge guy high-fiving sun drunks 

noon ’til dusk on the Delaware River,

or anything that involves choosing what happens

with one’s day for more of a day than not


Conditions are ripe for a new mystic, but all that

fervor & discipline goes against my divine purpose 

of hanging out, noting as many good uses for

my body before I’ve got to leave it behind.

The latest when Warren & I kicked off our shoes

to dance with the Sun Ra Arkestra on cemetery grounds

The atrium shot through with sweat-and-sequin glow

& sounds of assurance that the astral realm is real,

unlike the alienating notion of Tuesday, 6:37 pm


More citations needed re: that Norwegian island

voting to abolish time, & W.S. Merwin not picking up

his phone for 30 years in service of the Muse

I’m not even trying to get off the hedonic treadmill —

only to figure out how others manage to slow it

Where a revelation would be, the poem

gets lukewarm tub water with a violet fizz

of glitter—  its indestructible glint

as good as stardust in some distant karmic cycle






Found In Volume 52, No. 02
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Alina Pleskova
About the Author

Alina Pleskova’s first full-length poetry collection, Toska, will be published by Deep Vellum in 2023.