I have been trying

to unbend all of my question marks
so they will resemble exclamation points,

and there will be no more uncertainty,

only excitement.


there’s no longer a need

for answers.

Just celebration.


My palms have become blistered,

my fingertips callused

from attempting

to place the paper fibers

into a more satisfying alignment.

All of my questions

have now become awkward exclamations,

such as

“Who do you think you are!”

“What is the meaning of life!”

“You’re pregnant!”


I am also trying to straighten out

other bends in my life.


If I could straighten out

my last lover’s hips,

then I could actually become excited

about the prospect of making love

rather than feeling

a despondence

a deep existential doubt about

our relationship,

how this is what we do instead of talk,

how this is quite possibly

the last time

we will ever make love again.


If I could straighten out

my 92-year-old grandmother’s back,

then she could live

the remainder of her life

in joy and exuberance

rather than taking small, careful steps

through her living room,

her spine

punctuating every single

Alzheimer’s statement

about who and where she is,

forced to gaze at the floor

as though searching for

tiny fragments of her life

that broke away and dissolved

into the worn fibers

of the carpet.



I could straighten out

that drunken 80 mph bend

in the road

coming down the canyon

during that stupid winter,

then you would still be here

with me tonight

and we could still go





at each



across the room,



and dancing

and dancing,

and dancing

like idiots,

like death

isn’t lingering

with his

inquisitive breath

on our



Instead I sit here alone, in this room, drinking by myself, staring at the wall, attempting to push paper fibers into alignment, asking your ghost “What the hell were you thinking?”