top of page
  • Writer's pictureHannah Seo

thoughts at the end of a much-too-long shift

1 I read on the stall of an airport bathroom

that nothing is ever original. My thoughts pennies pressed out of

one of those gaudy

souvenir booths: worth

neither the medium with which they were crafted

nor the energy

used to carry them to their final

resting place. Pockets

heavy but mind light, I concede to nap

on the grass by a parking lot and call it

rest. You would think with all my fancy education

that I would understand bi-ology or psych

-ology or the

-ologies of what it means to be

a stalk of wheat, or a forsaken water-bottle

in a landfill. Instead my synapses fire

on pre-set conditions that die

with a nap, or one (too many) glasses

of whisky. At the ripe old age of ripped tennis shoes and crumpled coffee

receipts even I can understand

that what grows up must lie down.


Tying your hair back is always an adventure because you never expect

when the elastic snaps

back to whip your wrists which

is kind of a messed-up

life lesson. Every day is a practice

of decisions and revisions and

too many fatalities. Memento mori, and god

bless us every one.


In a bowl of alphabet soup I searched

for a sign — and I saw

myself in the foreboding “M E”, though

the “E” was

upside-down and possibly

part of some

less-telling configuration.

It is surprisingly difficult

to differentiate the profound from all this

utter nonsense.


In second grade I pinky

promised my loyalty to a boy with a long pale

face who I am convinced was the grim reaper.


I tried to learn tidying up from a book

passive-aggressively gifted to me by

someone who is never around. Unfortunately, I can never tell which thoughts

bring me joy and so never know which

to throw away. The soup marks on my jeans

are a neo-postmodern

Rorschach test and now all I can

think about is why Tide pens never work

the way they say they will. I drop a handful of

change into a tip jar and pray

my stains are impermanent.

Originally published in Paragon Press, Aug 2019.

bottom of page