queer nihilistic 20-somethings By Jay Artemis Hull

queer nihilistic 20-somethings

He’s a line cook, but sells drugs on the side.
“I’m a white kid” he says,
“worst I’m gonna get is a slap on the wrist.”
And it pays enough for a few community college credits.

She’s spending money she doesn’t have
on a degree that people promise will take her far.
But right now all it looks like
is an unpaid internship answering phones
and night shifts waitressing to try to get by.
Watching more and more of her friends graduate,
and come back to bussing tables with her.

And I’m doing fine
except my friends are talking about dying
and I wanna change the world,
but how can I if I can’t even save them?

But we’re all getting by, we swear.
Nothing to worry about here.
Because we’re all still here
with jobs, a few of us with careers,
paying for our own medication.

We go to work in the mornings
calling the dark circles beauty marks
calling the sleepless nights book material
calling the long days suicide notes.

We don’t mean it, of course,
except for when we do.
Seeing psychiatrists when we have the money,
checking in on each other when we don’t.
Hoping the world makes a bit more sense
before it kills us.

By Jay Artemis Hull


Jay Artemis Hull is most likely to be found wandering in the woods or writing in strange places. Their work has been published in a handful of literary journals including The Offbeat and Portage Magazine, on their poetry blog verisimilines, and engraved in the sidewalk at Michigan State University.

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