I’ve Always Wanted to Be Truly Alone

By John Sieracki

Rob won’t stop talking.
There’s a word for that: compensatory. No.
Comp something. Rob would be someone to ask.
But I don’t want to encourage him.
My electric lawnmower, on the other hand,
is pretty quiet when I use it to vacuum
up the little pieces in the fall.
Except I can still hear Rob.

He’s got some kind of big dinner he’s doing,
hundreds of people, money floating around,
speeches about different kinds of humans,
even different species that are called human.
Or were; they’re gone now. And to what extent
they interacted, as in mated, he tells me.

Next topic: he’s going to India next week.
He says, “A couple of Indians I know
complain it’s just too crowded for them.”
“What’s the grass in India like in the fall?” I say.
We’re each trying to make ourselves a vacuum.

At one point Rob says the word “excelsior,”
which is not the first time lately.
“It’s a favorite, meaning upward,” he explains.
“Up is overrated,” I say, although
I tell myself that all kinds of humans
have found up to be better, for practical reasons.
For instance, the Dennis someones.
The Dennisors. No. That’s not them.

John Sieracki is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA Program for Poets and Writers, where for several years he read for jubilat. His work has appeared in 34th Parallel, jubilat, Lost Pilots, Meat for Tea, Variant Lit, and elsewhere. He earns his keep as leadership gift officer at Holyoke Community College.

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