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Regret Nothing
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During the breakup I smoked a menthol cigarette
The apartment covered in dustballs and broken glass
Scuffed white walls
Not even a trash bag to put the pieces
Of memories, the fist fights,
drunken nights of him, lonely
The ceiling fan trying to keep cool
In the summertime

Love for me happens in spring,
When the jacarandas bloom their kind of purple

I left. I never felt guilt.
I walked into a giant birdcage
A blue peacock greeted me
Parakeets flew above my head
Maybe it was a sign of childhood

Regret Nothing
The long drives to nowhere
The incessant valley heat I’ve never
Been able to escape
The snow has eluded my tropical blood
I prefer the sea anyways
There’s something about the sticky heat.

That’s when the shot went off,
The one that made my whole world spin
Out the window over the WWII rose garden
Crawling over the brick.

I’m back smoking those menthol cigarettes
Unable to shake the dustballs
Do I become a dog in the next life?
If I’m too much of a snob in this life?
Stars streak the sky in this ever expanding Milky way
Caramel stuck to my teeth like bad memories
Cavities are the result of careless pleasure
And cramped toes from wearing too tight shoes


The first stanza is arresting, engaging, complete. Perhaps I am dense but I struggle to follow to “Bang. That’s when the shot went off …crawling over the brick.” Wonderful poetry, but I struggle to find where the shot connects. Was there gun violence in the break up? A few other things stump me too “unable to shake the dustballs,” for example. This poem is vivid and alive with something strong and incisive to say. I just wish I could “catch up” to a few of the references. Would it be asking too much for a bridge to your meanings? I occasionally have this problem with very good poetry, Louise Gluck’s, for example. So I know it’s just not you, perhaps just me, but I would love to understand the full meaning of this striking piece.

My apologies, my second read gleaned the dustballs at the beginning, dustballs at the end loop, good metaphor. Still wondering about the “shot” though!

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