I Was a Geriatric Millennial

Why can’t you write nice poems about me?

my dad once asked. Something went awry

with my education—but not the school part.

At a certain age I looked up from my Greek yogurt

and felt myself macerating between someone else’s teeth.

I took shelter in the mimosa war zone, at after-parties

in former chocolate factories. Minorly famous poets

and the virginity shakes. Bassists with STDs and ceviche

de pulpo ’til you could just puke. Fifteen years on and

I talk to my spouse in the car about Microsoft Teams.

I have a spouse. When we first started dating

I only took photos of her from behind, the pale backs

of her calves an invitation to cut into her like a cupcake.

I’m still the curator of my own adoration except now

it’s under duress. I buy a cotton-blend blazer at Talbots

and unfortunately I like it.

Our Sad Generation Doesn’t Know When the Party Stops

I ate these chicken fingers because they were here.

I ate this hot dog because it wasn’t a chicken finger.

I was drinking a G&T, or so Instagram tells me.

My head was far too enormous for my body.

I approached you and you approached me

because we could do each other favors.

I told you how I survived the latest apocalypse

on diet soda and Triscuits. I stayed glossy, above all.

It was a meaningful night. It was the best night

of your life. Everything on a need-to-know basis.

I was velveteen by nature, neutralized by neon.

You were a self-aware sliver of your former self.

Stuffed with carbs and turning gray, we loved

the way we could turn each other on with a verb.

 Nicole Steinberg is the author of the full-length collections Glass Actress (Furniture Press Books, 2017) and Getting Lucky (Spooky Girlfriend Press, 2013), as well as several chapbooks, including the newly released dear Elsie / seltzer (Bloof Books, 2023) and Fat Dreams (Barrelhouse, 2018). In fall 2021, she was named Poet Laureate of Bucks County, PA.