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This is the game
writing down lists
of barely graspable desires.
Crossing out one, two,
if only I had three
I’d be happy, certainly
it’s within reach.
This person, place, thing,
like Mad Libs, we fill in
name of boyfriend, apartment on 5th,
Harry Winston diamond. When you receive
number three, there’s always a four.
Acrobats on a wire twisting
in midair. It’s a circus, this “only if”
and “if only” – it’s a looped rope
strangling, dangling the newly improved 6.0.
Add it to the list. Chanel bag, Vitamix,
a Rolls Royce fully equipped.

Ladies and gents, let’s go up and down,
on this merry-go-round, get on, go
in circles until nauseous, green, vomit,
throwing up perfectly useful gifts
buy a ticket in the pursuit of happiness,
because you’re #1 in a million, you’ll win,
5 for 3 tries, 10 for six more, you could
bring home this fuzzy purple Gorilla only if
you win twice, if only you upgrade once more.

I got off the teacups feeling the earth spin,
didn’t even cash in,
threw my tokens to the wind,
couldn’t shake this goofy grin,
knowing I’ll never play again.


more by Julia Gari Weiss

photograph by Alex Wong


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