Julie Benesh


They no longer give kittens
away to the likes of me
and social media 
generally approves.

It's one kind of pang 
to outlive your animal
companions, but to think 
you won't? Next level. 

Lord willing, those green bananas 
will ripen in time, but they are only 
.62 per pound.

All those trips I assumed were prefatory, preparatory
introductions? (Always leave something unseen to go back 
to!-like Delphi! ) Most were last chances. 
was it, is it, better to know or not?

Rare times I said to self: self, I will never, 
ever do that ever again! Thank god!
Other times, abortive attempts, 
realizing it's over, not even 
the last time:

               Wear a bikini.
               Go on a first date.
               Work in an office.
               Job interview (?)

Pantyhose: the mass rebellion. My legs itch 
remembering those plastic eggs 
in the spinning rack at the drugstore, 
early adopter of their cancellation.

May I never say: had I known I was going to live
this long, I would have stolen that kitten. 

Julie Benesh has published stories, poems, and essays in Tin House, Crab Orchard Review, Florida Review, Hobart, JMWW, Maudlin House, New World Writing, Cleaver and many other places. She is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Grant. Her 48-poem chapbook, ABOUT TIME, is forthcoming from Cathexis Northwest Press. Read more at juliebenesh.com.