Stephen Wardell is a writer, filmmaker, and graduate of Northern Michigan University. Right now lives with his partner and his dog in Midland, MI, where he works as a college adviser for high school students.

Stephen Wardell

How to Get New Parents and Not Die

Use the café bathroom sink to clean the bottom of your longboard.
Off guard, splash your auburn beard. Wring it, then thumb snap
the suspenders, whose clasps hike up brocaded skinny jeans.
Clock in. Artisan coffee drinks are mainly comprised of sugar
and attitude — the philosophy behind your serving verve and tip jar,
so let your beard drip a little bit, baby. Never never never
remember your parents are people. Now, they're daguerreotypes. Be
proud to spray the faded grey paint on your face, obscuring your peach
skin so you can paint it on yourself, over the silvered copper plate.

Death is just a photograph of mourning in the feed you quickly scroll through,
underneath 'Sophia's Halloween Soiree,' and above an emotion, so print off
the whole feed and cut it into strips, lacing them like threads
through the gold scarf around your neck. This scarf's your mom,
the real birth canal, since your hat's an 18th century beaver-hair
tricorne, and your blouse is a palm leaf. Pointing out how pretentious
you are, which is itself pretentious, is to wiggle your hand in
under the yarn to save yourself from strangulation. The cool kids these days
amputate the past, getting saws on the street and gliding them through bone.

Lost & Found is published by Glass Poetry Press as part of Glass: A Journal of Poetry. This project publishes work that was accepted by journals that ceased publication before the work was released.
All contents © the author.