Michael J. Seidlinger

Michael J. Seidlinger is an Asian American author of a number of novels including The Fun We’ve Had and The Strangest. He serves as director of publicity at Dzanc Books, book reviews editor at Electric Literature, and publisher in chief of Civil Coping Mechanisms, an indie press specializing in innovative fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he never sleeps and is forever searching for the next best cup of coffee. You can find him online at michaeljseidlinger.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter (@mjseidlinger).

 

To WILLIAM

 

We were eating freshly fallen snow

Though you were a manager of a corporate chain

At the grocery store, high on methamphetamines

And I was whoever the fuck I am

Drunk on the prospect of getting drunker

 

You told me that you wanted to kill yourself

I told you to do it one better

Kill someone else

You grinned

I danced around the fact that it was a joke

I wasn’t being serious

But then you asked me about my situation

And I didn’t need to say anything

I looked the part

Lonely

 

He asked how long since the last

He inquired if she broke up with me

I didn’t say anything

Which is code for yes

And then he took the first mouthful of snow

And I followed suit

After a few mouthfuls, we didn’t make any sense

Our mouths frozen, our voices silenced

 

But later, only later, when I was warm and worn down

In bed with the same books

Watching the same episodes of the simpsons

I understood what you had told me

You’re lucky, you’ll be okay as long as you

Forget what it feels like to be alone

 

 

To GRANT

 

Tree lined streets and the feeling
That nothing new will ever happen

We ended up in the dense silences
Of the middle class at rest
You found in me the friend

 

You needed and I found in you another voice

Added to the worry
The worry that turned out to be true
I am better than this
I am better than you
It killed me to think of it
How does it feel to have been the one bad seed
While in wait everyone is wondering
Why these two young men are wasting
Their lives

 

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