Wasting life
is the easiest thing to do in the world
in the moment
in which you’re doing it
and later, in the ensuing moments
which are then hollowed out
dry or dried from the futility you did previously
descending stairs or even soft hills


When movie actors
pour tall bottles of alcohol
down sink drains in movies
about alcoholism
they’re not really wasting alcohol
because it’s fake alcohol
and their characters aren’t really wasting it
cause they’re determined to get better
This is usually about 40 minutes
into the movie,
when we’re still getting to know
the character


I get it if you can make it here, you’ll make it anywhere
but if you can’t make it here, can you make it anywhere else?
or just someplace else?

Where can you make it?

Tonight I dressed up as Alicia Keys
I littered and I moved my body around by default
brushing the bodies of tough New Yorkers who are
too proud to see each other
It was unnoticeable cause I did it during rush hour
and was chewing gum and rocking


Emily Toder is the author of the poetry collections Beachy Head and Science (from Coconut Books) and the chapbooks No Land (Brave Men Press), Brushes With (Tarpaulin Sky), and I Hear a Boat (Duets). She has translated various prose and poetry collections, among them The Life and Memoirs of Dr. Pi (Clockroot Books), Wendolin Kramer (Barcelona eBooks), and The Errant Astrologers (Ugly Duckling Presse). She lives in NY.