I Hope We Find Me Alive


by Rebecca Hazelton

with altered lines from The Tempest

There’s meth and lipstick and the internet.
That is all we can ever know without leaving our houses,

so my weather app tells me it’s raining, pixel by pixel
across the screen, and my basement tells me it’s raining

by seeping at its edges. I have a roof over my head
which means I have a roof to worry about, gutters

that need cleaning. Tragically, none of this is sexual.
The water mixes with stray kitty litter and forms fecal cement.

My glamorous life, I text to my friends,
is getting too amazing for me to accurately document.

The fad of photographing food has passed but I still indulge.
Here is my sandwich.

My friends don’t text back. At Target, I buy special storage containers
that promise me my food will outlast Ozymandius.

The polar shelf will melt, the Mid-West will scorch to arid dust,
but my spinach will remain pristine in a clear plastic box.

Does my sandwich accurately portray my life
as a woman concerned with the plight of animals

but not enough to stop eating eggs and cheese?
My friends don’t text back. In the video I play

over and over the polar bear swims and swims.
It’s hard to decide the angle and light

to best showcase the sandwich’s cheekbones.
My friends don’t text back. I put a heart under colony collapse.

I sign a promise to promise more. I am learning How to Draw
a Perfect Cat Eye but I can’t keep my hand from trembling.

The sea lions drop from cliffs like a metaphor
for our own nearsightedness. I like and I disseminate.

If you like massive amphibian death, you’ll love dying mammals.
To like isn’t to like. It’s just noticing. Noticing is a promise

to notice. Yes, I would like more content like this.
I would like to be more content. What a strange new

world crumbling at the shore. My friends don’t text back.
I’m alone in this alone. I keep having this dream

that I am my phone and my phone is me. I was in a box
and then I wasn’t in a box and the whole process

was documented lovingly, these great hands revealing
my transparency, the pulsing light inside, my constant need

for updates. There’s a word for that bigger light.
Naming it makes my own light lesser. It’s raining

inside the glass box so I know that outside someone is getting wet.
I know it’s not me, but not much else. I bookmark

the extinction rates for 2019. I am a strange, new wife
crumbling at the store. My friends don’t text back.


About the Author:

Rebecca Hazelton is the author of Fair Copy (2012), winner of the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry, and Vow (2013), from Cleveland State University Poetry Center. She was the 2010-11 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison’s Creative Writing Institute; and winner of the “Discovery”/Boston Review 2012 poetry contest. Her poems have appeared in AGNI, the Southern ReviewBoston ReviewBest New Poets 2011 and Best American Poetry 2013.


Cover image by iboy_daniel via Flickr (cc).