Poetry by Jade Lee

“If you gave the unemployed street poet 5 dollars and five minutes in 2020,” by Jade Lee

This is the third day I’ve gone without washing my face in the morning, 

It’s one of those things, I guess, 

Wake up, make your bed, shake the oatmilk, how much is a teaspoon 

Of Nescafe exactly 

Hold your hands up above the keyboard for a second 

To watch your fingers dance without your doing 

Straighten the spine, maybe bend over backwards over your chair 

and let your jaw drop like an exorcism, 

I have thirty seven minutes until my next class, I’ll tell them all 

About my day with my mic muted, 

Give me another reason to do otherwise– 

Shake the oatmilk, maybe I’ll go with tea this time. 

Did you know the lengths they used to go to 

To see each other back in the day 

Build entire railroads, ride horseback for three moons 

Just to send a letter, sometimes lifetimes apart 

I just had a baby! That’s crazy! Our last cow got the 

Sickness, we’re down to our last potato, our family 

Hit oil on the farm last Sunday, we’re praying to God, I hope to 

See you soon at least once 

Before I die 

Maybe there’s seven minutes before I go 

To learn about vector spaces; math beyond 

The dimension of God. 

I call the friend I’ve never hugged before and I tell her how 

Much I regret not becoming a Youtuber three years ago–

I could’ve had two mortgages by now, Cami! Isn’t 


Insane? How are you? How’s your girlfriend? Is it snowing 

In New York? Is New York even a real place anymore? 

Six feet apart above or below, last week I re-read Anne of Green Gables 

And I cried. I bought clothes I won’t wear for the next two years. 

Everyone’s telling me how sorry they are that this is 

Happening to me, when my life’s just begun, 

Did someone die without telling me, did they do it quietly, did they do it 

Under the gaze of a spaceman with an MD attached to their chests, 

Shake the oatmilk, thirty two ounces of coffee is actually not 

Enough caffeine. 

And I’ll tell you this: I’m sort of scared to leave my room now, not for 

Any physiological reasons, after all, why on earth would 

I want to leave? I learned how to do the splits in this room,

Ask myself why I am such a bad person and why I let myself 

Get away 

With it, 

I discovered this thing called a root chakra, and I saw the 

Ghost of my aunt standing by my bed a few nights ago. 

She told me how sorry she was, 

And she meant it with her whole chest, 

I can breathe fine. Everything is normal about this. 

Mathematicians are often notorious for apologizing. 

I ask my professor if we are doing math beyond the dimension 

Of God. 

He said he didn’t know. 

How is it that I’ve typed my own eulogy and divvied up my things, 

Forgotten what my own handwriting looks like, 

what a year feels like, 

I am biding my time. Calling the bluff in the poker game 

With the stuffed animals residing on my bed. 

After a while, they start to say things to you, things like–with 

Their whole chest, 

You’ve gone too pale, why not open 

A window?

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