I once tried sleeping on the sidewalk, drunk
and reluctant to let the night slip from me,
just to show mom I didn’t care anymore,
that I needed no roof or name.
I let myself get kicked
out of the house when I could—never sure
what to make of apologies back then,
others’ or my own.
And they say each conversation with your parents gets shorter
until we only have ourselves to talk to,
until the arguments are all we remember,
attention spans like moths hitting street lights—
A moth beat its everything against a streetlight
and the moon, what was left of the moon—male moon,
female moon, every moon between, and the sun
and all her children; moth body, moth soul, moth life,
moth will and intellect pitted against a lightsource
which offered no shadow, no warmth, just bruising
and the sound of bruising.
And I thought
I haven’t wasted my life
there’s this moth and there’s light and here’s
me, and the concrete is still warm, still breathing day
into my back and legs
and I figured
this is alright.
Lane Chasek is a freelance writer and editor who currently lives in eastern Nebraska with their partner, Regan. Their work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Broke Bohemian, Jokes Review, Lincoln Underground, North Dakota Quarterly, Paragon, Plainsongs Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, and others. They were the winner of both the 2016 and 2017 Laurus Poetry Prize and their essay "Becoming Vegan in Western Nebraska" was the featured nonfiction piece in the anthology Voices of Nebraska: Diverse Places, Diverse Peoples (University of Nebraska Press, 2016). Their first nonfiction book, Hugo Ball and the Fate of the Universe, is forthcoming from Jokes Review Press.