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Recorded as part of the Poem-a-Day series, October 7, 2015
About this Poem 

“Sometimes the best poems are the results of accidents (literal and creative), and that is what happened here: I was consolidating pills from two bottles into one, and I accidentally spilled the pills on the coffee table. It was a dreary Northeastern winter, so I found myself sitting there seeing what words I could spell with the pills. I realized I was having a poem-y moment, and I started writing.”
Aaron Smith

Still Life with Antidepressants

The afternoon light lights
the room in a smudged
sheen, a foggy-eyed glow.

The dog digs at the couch,
low-growling at the mailman.
I’m spelling words with pills

spilled consolidating bottles:
yes and try and most of happy:
Maybe I’ll empty them all.

A woman I don’t know
is having a drill drill into her
skull. To get rid of the thing

requires entering the brain.
How to imagine a story
that ends with that ending? 

I don’t know how to live my life,
but at least today I want to. 
 

Copyright © 2015 by Aaron Smith. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 7, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Aaron Smith. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 7, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith is the author of Appetite (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012).

by this poet

poem
I've been meaning to tell
you how the sky is pink
here sometimes like the roof
of a mouth that's about to chomp
down on the crooked steel teeth
of the city,

I remember the desperate 
things we did
                and that I stumble
down sidewalks listening
to the buzz of street lamps
at dusk and the
poem

I’m almost forty and just understanding my father
doesn’t like me. At thirteen I quit basketball, the next year
refused to hunt, I knew he was disappointed, but never
thought he didn’t have to like me
to love me. No girls. Never learned
to drive a stick. Chose the kitchen and mom
while

poem

With cotton candy armpits and sugary
Crevices, sweat glazing your donut skin.
Have you ever been fat, Brad?
Have you ever wanted a Snickers
More than love and lain on your bed
While the phone rang and rolled one
On your tongue, afraid to eat it, afraid
It would make your jeans too