If you lie still and concentrate, you can forget
your body and float like a balloon to the ceiling
where plaster stars prick like thumbtacks.
So scoured out, you can’t feel anything,
like the pink-haired girls who butcher their arms.
Come down. There is no merit badge
for levitation. You can leave your body,
but it will pucker and fall eventually, snagged
in bare branches, which like antennae
receive signals too high-pitched for us to hear.
How sad, everything, and how inexpensive
to say it out loud. The hills smoke
like a motherboard. Feeling bad has never felt
better, think the green-haired girls who brand
the smiles of lighters into their thighs
and wear striped stockings so tight, the stripes distort.
You’re not like them. They’re still trying to live
the days of Manic Panic and bar marquees
where all the Ls were sevens. How sad, everything,
and how cheap to say it out loud. The hills smoke
like mothers, like purple-haired girls.
Stretched taut, filled with nothing, you rise.
-Maggie Smith (failbetter)