Decade Old Elegy: Personal Dream

by Sean Cho A.

and you wake. You’re in the passenger’s seat
now here’s the first choice:
look forward or
look left
what you chose says a lot
about trust. Let’s say you look left.
The man driving looks like your father.You wouldn’t have to look forward to know
where you were going; the last place
he saw you. Rehab, when he dropped you
off. Both of you knowing damn well
that he should be checking himself in
too. Let’s not talk about that.
Okay, so let’s say you look forward.
You see the fields of poppies, you pat
you pocket, lucky you brought
your pestle. It doesn’t matter
who’s driving now does it.
It never did. Obviously,
none of this is real. You buried
your father years ago you must
be asleep. For the first time
in years you can count
your sobriety in months
not days. This has a way
of minimalizing accomplishment 57, 58, 59
1. Say your best prayers
and believe them,
take your filthy pride
Guilt has no use
here. One of you
had to watch the other
die, win the race
and claim the ugly prize.

Sean Cho A. is an MFA candidate at the University of California Irvine. His work can be ignored or future-found in Salt Hill, The Portland Review, Hobart, and elsewhere. He is a staff reader for Ploughshares. In the summer of 2019, he was a Mary K. Davis scholarship recipient for the Bear River Writing Conference. Sean’s manuscript Not Bilingual was a finalist for the Write Bloody Publishing Poetry Prize.