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.