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  • Celia Jenkins

NaPoWriMo 2024 - Day 18

Prompt: Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem in which the speaker expresses the desire to be someone or something else, and explains why. Two possible models for you: Natasha Rao’s “In my next life let me be a tomato,” and Randall Jarrell’s “The Woman at the Washington Zoo.”


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In My Next Life


In my next life I want to be

all the words you never said out loud,

all the comebacks

to all the arguments

you played out in your head.


In my next life I want to be

the clenched fist

in your chest,

the tight ball of pain

that no one knows exists,

the black dog

on your shoulder.


In my next life I want to be

the deep breath you

hold

the tentative footsteps you

tread

the salt-heavy tears that you don't

cry.


In my next life I want to be

all the things I couldn't be,

I want to be there

for you

I want you to be.




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