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Summer Copelan


My Evil Twin

Winters coming.

It left a threat on my answering machine, promising to wreak havoc on my psyche. No amount of pleading will stop the wind from creeping in me, or the snow from falling over the flowers I grew. I’m being punished for too much tequila and swimming holes last summer. Back then I laughed at obstacles like I was Super Summer the unflagging heroine. I could dance around danger just like in a Charlie Chaplain movie except everything was drenched in color. Now I’m fighting the evils of frozen noses and too much sleep. I’m drinking tea with depressed friends. I’m starting a hat and glove support group while the rest of the world fights and blisters away. I’ll pad myself in long underwear, unread classics and walls of blue ice. I’ll sled down them like an unhinged snow queen, screaming out curses at all the people headed south in a flock. "Cowards" I’ll wrangle out in my bear voice waving a hairy paw, clenching a sharpened icicle. I’ll knock over Christmas Carolers with George Bush’s head that chant, "Buy more stuff" to the tune of jingle bells.

The Lion Tamer Loses a Limb

The cats next door have been eyeing me. I’m a little too big for prey. They frighten me, popping out of garbage cans, in the alley I walk through to get home. "Putty tat," I say but they never purr like housecats. They are tough cats that hang in a pack and eat bloody snacks, leaving the remains outside my doorstep. Are they trying to drive me away or give me offerings? I know they will not play puss in boots for me. They outnumber me. I look into the gloomy afternoon and watch a squirrel dip into a drainpipe. His tail is hidden. He looks like a rat. I recoil and remember the "Attack of the Killer Rabbit" movie I saw on late night TV where ferocious bunnies would suck the blood of bell bottomed hippies. Nature was pissed in the 70’s. Now it’s just confused. They just cloned a human embryo. I want to scream to the squirrel, "Stay close to the sky, it’s dangerous down here on the ground."

I need to have blues so I can have rhythm

Do shy people get into heaven first? Things work on each other trying to balance out, make up for their differences. I need to crawl into myself sometimes so I can pop out, stretched a little further. I need to hang out with that screaming baby so I will not have one right away. I needed gym class in high school so I can believe in anti-heroes. I need thunder so I can wake up and see lightening. I need to throw snowballs at my worries. I need animals to be tough and cute at once. I need endings.

Western Haikus
(not necessarily meaning the 5-7-5 meter but trying to create the same essence)

Cold February
coffee in bed, laundry pile.
I should have another cup.


Who haven’t you slept with?
I’m sure
I’ll meet them soon.


The gas station attendant,
missing her front teeth,
has a contagious smile.


Sighs escape from smile
the waitress aches for closing,
remembers herself.


The child with the balloon
untied it from his arm
To see how high it would go.


He is young and angry and drunk.
I ran my hands down his tattooed arms,
than ran away.


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