Poems by Sarah Ghoshal


While I was under the blanket the gumballs came rushing down and smacked me in the head, making hollow popping noises until I wandered back to you.  One rolled like a meatball in that old song, covered in cheese, sticking to the aqua rug that tries too hard to be an ocean.  It made it to the high school yearbooks and rolled back to the bindings, hoping to keep it all closed, locked up, chastised and beautiful in the haze of twelve years before. I cannot tell if those memories are real.  I cannot tell what I am missing.

So when someone said blueberry was a new flavor I laughed.  Maybe strawberry orange mango twist with a large side helping of bubble, sticking to my lips in tiny tufts of what could be vulcanized rubber if we broke it down, analyzed it and brought into a world run by adults and skinny sticks and dentist mouthwash and clinical death.  We all question the answers but we do nothing about it so I stand on the floor of the stock market with a cheap cigar and an old-fashioned hat, waiting for a tip and a trade.  

On that stock market floor it seems empty.  It is three AM and the floor is shining with the middle of the night, the shadows of disappointed investors and broken housewives gone for the day, leaving behind only the paranoia of belief.  I am standing here with my trade in my hand, waving my request in the air to a barren room and yet, my breathing is thick like Tokyo air in summertime, my shirt sticking to me as I look down and realize the guy who just appeared next to me couldn’t afford to wear pants today.

We are all ready to find a way out and my path to the tunnel is paved with the sincerity of youth and the ignorance of adulthood.  At 30, I watch people I used to know die and die and die and fall and die and die and make the world remember their jokes for two straight days as black and blue sits around the green like evening.  Sliding to the morning with the wash of yesterday still on my legs, I make my way back to the reality of it all, brushing the gumballs into the garbage, feeling my cavities grow.


Thing is, none of it
matters anymore. 

We can fly balloons,
order up guilty dinners,

follow the birds to places
we only visit in summer,

have sex that reminds us 
of tiny square rooms

in modest white houses, 
write down feelings

that sound familiar 
but untrue, but after

it all, we realize it’s 
just another year,

just another reason
to be selfish 

in the face of tortillas
and fresh sour cream 

on the side and meetings
that could have been emails

and fire. 

Sarah Ghoshal earned her MFA from Long Island University in Brooklyn, has two chapbooks, and her poetry can also be found in Yellow Chair Review, Arsenic Lobster, Reunion: The Dallas Review and Red Savina Review, among others.