“I wish him a lifetime of safety and platitudes, a soundtrack of fluorescent lights humming. I do not wish him me, though. Never me again.”
Dry Cake Wishes and Tap Water Dreams
Rachel Wiley speaks to everyone who has ever been made to feel like they weren’t good enough in a past relationship. And she does it in the most comical and sarcastic way possible. She manages to capture the not-quite-hatred of her ex in an onslaught of mediocre wishes for him on his birthday. She doesn’t wish him death, destruction, and ruin. She doesn’t wish him pain or revenge. She wishes him fluorescent lights and tasteless oatmeal breakfasts, because his reason for ending things with her was because she was “too intense”. Therefore, the poem that follows is anything but intense. It’s savagely normal, and comfortingly comical. More importantly, it details the importance of letting things go, of moving on and holding no grudges against those who may have hurt us. Her poem is not an angry call to arms or a swearing off of all men. At the end of her poem, she speaks of finding someone else, someone better suited for her, and she wishes him the life that he wants too, albeit a painfully boring one.
I can say that lines from this poem have stayed with me over the years. I will be sitting there at work when a gem of a line will pop into my head and I will smile. That’s a sign of some good poetry.
If you like this poem, you can purchase her poetry book, Nothing Is Okay from Button Poetry, a publisher of diverse poets who come from many different backgrounds. Button Poetry also hosts live readings, which help to capture the unique voices of these poets in breathtaking performances. Use the code “secondchance” for 25% off your order!
The Literary Kat