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2 poems

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.

sToP aPoLoGiZiNg



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?

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