No Strange, Only Different
By Brittany Wallace
(Illustrated by Sarah Jean Alexander)




voluntary displacement and its effects on interpersonal relationships

drink a glass of wine
do ten pushups
drink a glass of wine
do ten pushups

drink a glass of wine
drink a glass of wine
drink a glass of wine
hold your head in your hands

your grey hairs will multiply
drink a glass of wine
you have lost most of your friends
drink a glass of wine

the lines in your face will multiply
smoke a cigarette
you will fail to find what you've lost
drink a glass of wine

sleep will come
and children will need to be taught

you will fail to tell the truth
drink a glass of wine

you are now a stranger to everyone you once cared deeply for


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there is no strange, there is only different

i wake up to my weather alarm singing cutely, "it's cloudy, cloudy"
and in my alternate life i go back to sleep
i get onto the bus and avoid looking at anyone
the heat of several pairs of tired eyes hits me and i feel nothing
i walk to get coffee and i feel nothing
i exit the elevator into work and feel nothing
i print and laminate 37 sets of tangrams and cut them each apart carefully
and i feel nothing
i greet my students and they feel everything
they feel new emotions every day
i aim for transference and i feel nothing
i laugh and swing them around and reprimand them gently
i feel busy
i commute home in the dark, past the countless alleys
filled with prostitutes and middle-aged men in suits
and feel nothing
i arrive home, drink a beer, endlessly scroll
and i feel tired
i lay in bed and think that my opinion of myself is not my reality
and eventually, i sleep
and i fear nothing


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brittany wallace lives in seoul, south korea

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