by Ottavia Paluch
Ottavia Paluch is 17, disabled, and from Ontario, Canada. A Gigantic Sequins Teen Sequin for 2018, her work is published or forthcoming in Four Way Review, Kissing Dynamite, The Cerurove, Alexandria Quarterly, Ghost City Review, Mineral, and more.
it is always the soil that uproots me from my own sack of skin which i sometimes think is full of soil look at me bumping into a flower and saying sorry for not planting it blowing my nose into a tissue saying i would never damage its wings again and then i sneezed again i know that gravity knows that it keeps me level-headed that it is the only alien on earth that can’t identify itself as me whenever my head starts spinning i say sorry to gravity for making it feel human again and again and again in reverse and then diagonally to the point where i consider apologizing to my parents for becoming a black hole instead of an astronaut and then i actually did it and planted myself in the soil of the moon
Triple Sonnet for the Douchebag Living In My Head
You know, I looked at the sky today
and saw how pretty it was.
I thought, “Screw it, I’m going to write a
poem about that.” But instead
I’m going to write a confessional in lieu of
going to confession. Apparently, Jesus
already knows all my sins so I’ll just list them now:
swearing, thinking, wishing, wanting,
needing, screaming, yelling, bleeding, failing to pray,
praying to fail, writing this poem, existing,
drowning out the world with my earbuds
and pretending I listen to, I don’t know,
jazz? Classical music, too. All this to make it look
like I’m some kind of pretentious douche.
No one wants a douchebag in their life because they suck.
Douche is “shower” in French, as Jesus
turned water into wine and no one called it (sin)ister.
Douchette is French for “barcode scanner”
because Jesus scanned the crowd for apostles and didn’t mind
that Judas was a douchebag. The definition of one.
When I, a mere mortal, take a shower, I am wet and warm
and sober. Jesus probably drank wine from his shower head
whenever he wanted to. Jesus, how the hell are you still up
in heaven when all these douchebags are sitting
below you, drinking wine and forgetting to say please? Half
the world thinks you’re the greatest man they’ve never met.
The rest think you’re a douchebag. Many people, douchebags
included, think that without you, nothing would exist.
Where, exactly, do I fit on this spectrum of good and
bad nouns? I might be more fragmented sentence
than adjective, but whatever. People who pretend to be Jesus,
where do they land? Do you count me amongst
these folks? Did you make me? Have you noticed me?
Do you believe in my capacity, my capability
to douchebag? That’s right, I just turned a noun into
a VERB. This is a godly move, a—you guessed it
—douchebaggy move. You know, Jesus, that you’re not
a douchebag, even though you put arks in the angels
and told Michael to fly. Tell me how to be a saint amongst
the sinners, because I’ve mastered the reverse.
Haven’t you noticed that I never meant to make this poem
about the sky, but about what you made of it, from it?