This week, a poem from Jen Levitt’s The Off-Season, out this month from Four Way Books.

 

REALITY SHOW

 

In this episode a famous poet comes to speak.
She’s on speed, possibly
suicidal but has perfectly toned arms,
so I’m not sure whether to pity or envy her.
I try to starve myself
by eating three handfuls of pita chips.
I run on the treadmill then walk.
I wipe my sweat.
In montage I mourn the boy killed by his classmate
for liking to wear heels & makeup,
also the jury’s devastating hearts
that go out to the shooter
because twenty-one years is a lot of time
like the time it takes to get over middle school.
A girl once told me I’d be more attractive
if I acted butch—I don’t even know what that means
practically speaking, the voice-over
as I swim backstroke in the public pool
& pluck hairs from my face like an Olympian.

——

JEN LEVITT is the author of The Off-Season (Four Way Books, 2016).

“Reality Show” from The Off-Season (c) 2016 by Jen Levitt. Appears with permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.



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