According to, Brad Pitt is coping with his breakup
with sculpture, weed, and by listening to Bon Iver.

This is cliché and almost the perfect prescription.
So, a great start.

Funny: I think an old photo of Brad Pitt
once helped me get over a breakup.

Or was it a photo of someone else?
A photograph is an eye’s residuum, technological output of desire.

He uses art, soft drugs, and music to heal himself.
This is tried and true, but certainly not complete.

You know—friends.
We’ve all used that one song…you know the one…
a roaddog of self pity.

I would love to be placed in a little cradle right now.
Throw on the right song.
I’ll fall asleep in no time.

Or just let me look at something beautiful.
Hold me like a baby.

Sleep and care is what the alien overlords have gifted to us
with the math of music. It is ok to be sad.

Once I went through a breakup
and all the drugs and art and music in the world

could not heal me.
I needed a clock

to pass its hands over itself
many times. I also needed sleep.

My dreamscape had to reconfigure its organization of the world,

and I needed to come out of a trance.
I thought about old TV shows, and how common media diverged from personal experiences.

I thought about how my parents found love,
and without resenting them, I needed to find my own person to love.

Once I dreamt my parents pushed me
into a craggy ravine.
I needed to meet another guy at the fruit stand

and to pet at least 24 puppies of friends
and even strangers—that’s not just a metaphor.
But this is: I needed to make awkward eye contact with a cat.

I needed to stare at one person’s Instagram photos for hours
wearing a deerstalker hat while smoking a pipe
and playing the violin under the cover of darkness.

Once I needed to stay up all night and imagine he was beside me.
Once, no thrice, I needed to be gently chided by my friends.

Once I needed to break down in tears in the glorious sun of the Getty Museum.
Once I needed to be privately aroused by Robert Mapplethorpe’s ability to love

the image as expressed in his photos.
Once, as I watched Love Actually with my family,
I tried hard to not to be an asshole.

Once I understood the way Mapplethorpe’s camera was an eye, was even a cock, how his camera was a machine blinking with desire like a text message alert from a crush,

I was able to finally recommit myself to “online stalking” in a refreshed way
where I saw an end.

Once in college I took an extra bong hit and needed my hand held the whole walk home.
And once I laughed all day.

unnamed Amy Lawless is the author of two books of poems including My Dead (Octopus Books). Her third poetry collection Broadax is forthcoming from Octopus Books this summer. A chapbook A Woman Alone is just out from Sixth Finch. With Chris Cheney she is the author of the hybrid book I Cry: The Desire to Be Rejected from Pioneer Works Press’ Groundworks Series (2016). Her poems have recently or are forthcoming in jubilat, Reality Beach, The Volta, Washington Square Review, Best American Poetry 2013, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day: 365 Poems for Every Occasion, and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology (Brooklyn Arts Press). She received a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2011. She lives in Brooklyn.

feature image via Aslaveoflove at Pixabay.

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