Failbetter.comLogo If you’re in the mood for a little intellectual escapism, you might like this poem by Gotham Poetry teacher Mary Donnelly. The poem appears in the current edition of the online literary magazine failbetter.

by Mary Donnelly

The streets are flooded
with the tears of the privileged,
are filthy with them.
The lamentations of their females
rain down from department store windows.
Their males beat time on metal trees.
They name it "La Sinfonia della Melancholia,"
and the stores can't stock it fast enough.
Car batteries everywhere
are drained dry from the salt.
No one can stop taking.
No one can give enough.
All three-year-olds are interned citywide
to bale out the gutters.
They balance buckets on their heads
with the grace of African mothers,
while a giant mauve balloon
drags its message gently behind:
"Help is On the Way."
But what arrives are boxes
of allergy medicine and ill-fitting ties,
towels the thickness of melba toast.
I seek refuge in an abandoned
Olympic-size pool, where I expect
to drown like the others,
only in style. At night,
stretched out like a starfish,
I float in the deep end and imagine
turning clockwise fast enough
to spin my way out
onto a renegade chunk of moon.

To read another poem by Mary Donnelly, visit failbetter.com, edited by Thom Didato.
Copyright © by Mary Donnelly. All rights reserved.