HOW TO BECOME A HAPPY WOMAN, E.G.
First, get a hose.
Even if there’s a water shortage due to drought,
Stand around dousing the grounds for hours and hours.
I mean relentlessly.
Grow moss, remembering you earned it by not showering
During the pandemic.
Second, forget everything you’ve been told. (Except
Smoke and drink whatever and whenever you want.
Stay up all night every night watching movies,
Lean hard on Australians; they dominate the natural horror flick.
Third, buy white begonias and find sweet summer dresses online.
If anyone asks, explain it’s your only life.
Place orders to arrive each Friday,
By routine delivery.
While waiting, don’t do a thing you don’t feel like doing and never,
Ever regret it.
Finally, do a deep squat in the garden shaded by the tree. (Oh,
And also, no undies.)
As you dig the begonias some holes, the aromas rising from
Under the dresses will blend with the scents of drenched dirts
And roots and worms, deliciously.
Sweating, wet yourself down with the hose, then get some sleep.
—from Rattle #78, Winter 2022
Danielle Carne: “As a professional arbitrator and mediator, I resolve other people’s conflicts. Poetry must be where I work on my own.” (web)