You can’t just keep showing up here like this.
I have taken you to the curb too many times.
Get a clue, Penny! It’s not me, it’s you. Yet,
every Wednesday your technicolor pages
poke from my mailbox, enticing me to spend
more money that I do not have on things that
I do not need. Why are you doing this to me?
I’ve put you in the trash; I’ve tried recycling.
Hell, I’ve soaked you in lighter fluid and lit
you ablaze to start another, better fire. Still,
you come back like some papery poltergeist
that can’t be conjured away. I am haunted
by your Fourth-of-July-deluxe-special-edition-
hot dogs and soda pop, chips and ice cream.
What can I do that hasn’t already been done?
I’ve used your glossy pages to pick up dog shit
and to scrub bug carcasses from my windshield.
I’d say you deserve better if it would mean that
you would just go away and find someone else
with a bigger house and a deeper mailbox,
or a fenced-in yard––maybe try the suburbs.
Matthew Schultz (he/him) teaches Creative Writing at Vassar College where he also directs the Writing Center. He is the author of two novels: On Coventry and We, The Wanted. His recent poems have appeared in Rust + Moth, Thrush, and Juke Joint. Twitter: @eireprof