Mar 31, 2009

Past Perfect

Written by Christina Olson

Read by Jacob Shores-Argüello

Already what I knew to be true
is all tenses: has changed, is changing,
will change. No more planet
Pluto. Welcome Nunavut.
I heard the Spanish alphabet dumped
the long lazy roll of the doble ele,
and though I’ve since been corrected,
I liked it better when I thought it retired
to mango plantations, blue parrots screaming
overhead. Pretty soon farewell to polar bears
and the very last card catalog
and my parents — and haven’t you too
wondered of your friends who will go first,
and will it be anything like The Big Chill
and if yes, which one of you gets
to be Kevin Kline in tiny gray shorts?

It’s easier to say goodbye to places
because they’re what you carry with you
and after enough new driver’s license photos
you actually pull a good one: nice hair,
something resembling a chin. Sometimes
I miss only stupid things: a set of blue
plates we stole three apartments ago,
the perfect shade of green they turned
under a thin coat of yolk. Their chipped
lips. Better to focus on the plates
than which one of you will die first. Envy
the television hippopotamus you watched
together on the last night in your old place.
The dry British narrator: Their courtship
is quick. She tries not to drown