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POETRY
Live from New York, It's Me Deleting Your Number & Googling Photos of Alex Moffat Again
Rachel Tanner

 Image via  Wikimedia Commons

If you were born in 1982 & this is 2018, you’d
be 35 years old. Not the 27 that you are. Not
the 19 that you act.
There's a cast member on SNL who’s 35 & looks
exactly like you.      He was born in Chicago
                                  (instead of Alabama)
                 He wears jeans sometimes
     (I don’t think you own any non-khaki pants)

He's on national tv every week.
Live comedy. Live impressions. Live
skits where he pretends to be people he isn’t.
(So maybe you're not that different?)
I wonder if actors & comedians
are terrible life partners because once the spotlight’s off,
maybe a performer’s them-ness leaves the stage, too.
I wonder how people keep their them-ness after
the audience is gone.
Maybe it’s better to be an actor and a liar because then
at least you’re getting paid to lie.

The last time I was behind a microphone, the audio
malfunctioned & I was embarrassed but your
eyes stayed locked on mine & afterwards you
told me I did a fantastic job, even though
that wasn’t true.
Some poetry is meant to stay on the page,
not read to an audience
I mumbled & you
said I was hoping this would help heal you.

It did not heal me. Not even a little.

Alex Moffat being on tv every week looking like
your long lost twin heals me a little bit, though.

On a good day, I forget you exist & so
whenever I watch the show,
I’m caught by surprise when he's on camera.
I’m caught by surprise that you’re not here.

I wonder if he's allergic to cats, too.
I wonder if he ever forgets to be kind.


Rachel Tanner is an Alabamian writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bad Pony, Atticus Review, Tenderness Yea, and elsewhere. She tweets @rickit.