Dorothea Lasky



Is it a burden to be so perfect
And to have such perfect children
And to have such a perfect marriage
And to look so perfect all the time
And to make every decision perfectly
Cocktails on Thursday with Sammy——perfect
You know your sweater really does look perfect
That mango salad you made——it turned out perfectly
And that car with your shoes
Godammit that’s perfect
Your dog——perfect
Your computer
Well it works perfectly
My supervisor——he’s perfect
The desk, it looks perfect
All and all the day was perfect
And lovely and still
What did we do
We walked the earth
So perfect!
Perfect principles
Spring and all
It’s perfection
Perfectly ok to be the sallow
Perfect skin and teeth
And shiny hair
And the bathroom clean
The curtains heavy, cream
Hanging to block the noonday sun
The coffin
Light blue
Well that’s perfect
The family of worms to eat the face
They did a perfect job
Never coming back here again
I think that seems perfect
Oh all the best
My love to you and yours
Your little heart
Nestled in the air
For all to see


DOROTHEA LASKY is the author of four full-length collections of poetry: Rome (Liveright/W.W. Norton), as well as Thunderbird, Black Life, and Awe. She has also written several chapbooks, including Poetry Is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010). Her writing has appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, and Boston Review, among other places. She is a co-editor of Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry (McSweeney’s, 2013). She lives in New York City, where she is an Assistant Professor of Poetry at Columbia University.


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