In an alternate universe, my poems bloom from joy

and in them, Ryan Gosling finally texts me back;
he wants to hook up, press me against the nearest wall,
leave Rorschach love marks on my neck.

and in them, I’m the roller-skating champion of the world,
skating at cheetah speeds like I dreamed when I was ten, skating
infinite circles in our unfinished basement.

and in them, I spend all day caressing the faces
of sunflowers, damp soil beneath my fingernails,
dripping dew on summer blades of grass.

and in them, we roll down skyscraping hills,
collect stains on flannel shirts without worrying
about the high price of laundry detergent.

and in them, I’m a painter, musician, arch-backed ballerina
adept with brush, crooning lazily, and spinning wild
because nobody ever told me to stick to my day job.

and in them, my hands clutch a one-way ticket
to France or Boston or Prague or Saskatoon;
no backtracking for goodbyes.

and in them are walks alone at night,
unafraid of what lurks at moonrise,
crying at beautiful winks of yellow light.

and in them are trampoline giggles, twirling hula-hoops,
bursting apple skins, marijuana, secondhand novels
and sleeping cats, smooth-inked pens on paper,
Charlie “Bird” Parker’s saxophone sounds,
and my blood rushing with confetti cells—the fizz of joy.