expats (serious art guys for real)

expats

we had these gorgeous paper-thin whiskey glasses
that we washed by hand
on sunday mornings after we had people over
for no reason
for manhattans
just for fun

not so long ago
we had no bright orange plastic spoons
no melamine plates bearing big-eyed monkeys holding bananas
no measuring cups and squeezy-boats filled with old, cold bathwater in our tub

i can't remember buying these things
or what i thought when i bought them

i should have been thinking
"this plastic fork
is a metaphorical
BPA-free
certificate of citizenship

i am no longer a visitor in this land
and these are now my people"

but i think it was probably
"guess we need these now"
or
"ooh that's fun (click) thanks amazon prime"

people tell you
or at least they told me
that your life changes in an instant
(a single finger snap)
an instant

but that sounded like bullshit
and to be honest
it still does

like when people say you'll know in your heart
when you meet the love of your life
honestly, I knew in my heart
when my prom date fumbled my corsage
i still love him
but he's very happy
with his boyfriend
paul

heart, you're like a thrice-divorced
forty and fabulous actress
who "lives for the now"
and "tries to stay present,"
so you are fun and all
but you're completely fucking flaky
when I want to talk about forever and mean it
or know if (a single finger snap) is happening

i never felt the mythological bolt
that made my dad stagger the first time he held my sister

it's not like i woke up the morning after chicken's birth
and said
i am new

the baby arrived in a split second, yes,
but also over the course of months
and years

first it was just a shelf in the kitchen
of the urban loft with the blue accent wall
and all our cool photography hung just so

that shelf became the baby shelf -
clear plastic horns from the breast pump lay there to dry
and a red bowl of binkies brought the palette in
so we still felt
a little cool

then we had to move
to a shitty old house
it has an old fucking dishwasher
that smells like old fucking dishwater
but it also has two bedrooms upstairs
and storage
for when we woke up and realized
even though we have 75 cloth diapers
no
we are not cloth diaper people

the glass and iron coffee table
became a suicide trap
when the baby started lurching around on two feet
so now we have a padded faux-leather storage ottoman
full of soft, padded blankets
that it's totally fine to throw up on

now we read about a chipmunk with a problem
or a truck that learns an important lesson
or how not to fuck up our kids

now we call them noodles

now our christmas tree is naked from,
oh,
i'd say about 30 inches on down

now we have these cheerful spoons
and melamine plates
and bowls
and we sprinkle nestle quik on banana slices
and call it chocolate dust
that's pretty standard

i'm speaking for me and ryan when i say
that yes
we are citizens now

this is our land
(banksy-ed with fingerpaints)

and these are our people
(with raisins in their pockets and crumbs in their cars)

but like all expats
no matter how long we've live here
we are not from here

we had manhattans
with our chocolate dust bananas
just two days ago

we used our paper-thin whiskey glasses
we washed them
in our shitty dishwasher

if you have to boil it down
this poem about personal identity
and history
and the way we add new wings to the original frames of our lives
HGTV-style,
in a home-improvement instant
(always
always
always behind schedule)

i'd say this poem boils down to this:

we still drink manhattans
but we don't hand-wash anything
anymore

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