Claw Machine

I want to take my week
throw it in a ball
and rocket it, expert aim
into the trash, lined with a bag
from CVS
because buying the bags that fit
tiny trash cans

like death too young
19, 26, 60
(60 is the new 35)
or forgetting moments
that should have mattered,
goldfish memory peeking
through a fish tank brain,
moments popping in rapid-fire bubbles,
dances, crushes, firsts,
pop pop goose
a broken sphere and the memories float
into the air.

And I,
still living the past in photographs,
old letters,
long due conversations,
watch this week in awe:

life, a claw machine
so weak, its grasp,
that you can never quite catch
that stuffed T. Rex,

you’re stuck with second best:

the rainbow unicorn giggling
in spectrum glow
knowing what you don’t know…

how to beat it — this arcade game called life,
the tears, a token,

and I,
more interested in ski ball
than claw machine,

know real survival
is in the center cup,

because even if you don’t hit it,
you’ll still win tickets,

the currency of gods

and your tear tokens
your memory bubbles
your life lived
a gift to the odds,
the claw machine
a false practice in disappointment,
the life,
not fully lived.

I much prefer ski ball.

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