I imagine you in your house, cleaning your chest by Sarah Jean Alexander
When I first saw this I thought ‘Boy Sarah doesn’t have much of an imagination if dreams of others doing household tasks’. I do not dream of cleaning. I wish I had a chest to store all my empty lemonade containers. Later I discovered she was referring to his masculine chest, the one covered all in hair. This is a rather wistful chapbook as she thinks about life. We stay safely nestled inside her mind while she goes about her day.
Someone walks past her window. She thinks it is her ex-bro, aka boyfriend. She runs down the street in Baltimore. Her nose is in the air, smelling for something familiar. No one has the same smell. A dead bird is splattered on the sidewalk. Right beside it is a sleeping bird. The sleeping bird does not care about other birds. The sleeping bird dreams of its life, of everything it’s done right and wrong. The sleeping bird does not feel the need to beg for forgiveness for its callousness towards its dead fellow bird. Sarah does not find him but finds a hot dog stand. For a moment she feels like taking a photo of the dead bird but doesn’t. She respects the dead. Would others respect her body if she was hit by a car or would they bring out their camera phones she wonders? Hope she never finds out.
Figure she was his everything. She still is his sidewalk, phone bill, drool, and so forth. Those bills are due. Hope he ‘pays up’. Since this is Baltimore I assume he is in debt. Most people in Baltimore are heavily in debt. Know I am. Know all my friends are. Maybe he’s a smart chest cleaner. Probably he’s a relevant twenty-something bro, though not as relevant as Sarah. Sarah has a chapbook out, he doesn’t.
Her idea of going to her parents’ house to eat free food is a good one. Free food is one of the greatest things bestowed upon us. I wonder if Sarah’s parents are Disney characters since they go to work at Disney world. The fact her boyfriend did not drink is good. Drinking huts our livers. Subway sandwiches though, I understand why people would get angry about them. Subway sandwiches smell and taste like America’s failure. Hate those pathetic, wimpy sandwiches.
Google allows us to travel to our friends’ homes. She stands outside his building on Google Maps. A little stick figure person represents her. He is inside, washing his chest. His chest reeks of manliness as he washes himself with a loofah.
Pillows are our most affectionate possessions. They store our smells. When somebody leaves the pillow has an imprint of their smell, their head, and their hair. Pillows are a little creepy but they mean well. They remind us of those who have left us. Sarah only drinks decaf. That’s probably why she was sleeping so much. It ends with her opening a bottle of beer in a congratulatory celebration of her epic chapbook. She draws a picture of his hamstrings so she can dream of things besides him washing his chest.
Sarah makes a tender little chapbook. I find this to be a happy thing dedicated to relationship, whether current or past. They are wonderful things. Get into the relationship life.