A Collage

I don't know how I can make you understand
You with your photographs and snapshots and scrapbooks
You who preserve moments but never look
back
on them to see (what you missed the first time around)
Can you freeze this moment in time and film, so you can stop and see
me futilely trying to explain myself to you
With the only tool I can lift
In easy
evasive
metaphors
That make you look at me as if you're not sure
that I'm your daughter
No, Mother, I'll try it your way
for once. So Mom—
Picture this…

Picture fire and brimstone and
not enough AP classes, just
like the counselors tell us.
Picture dreams condemned to damnation
Imagine that college is Judgment Day and
I have sinned through failing to kill myself
like an overly zealous performing seal
in high school
And there are a few things I'd like to do
first before I go off to burn eternally at
a university
and…----------------"die."
It's kind of like that.

Now a snap, click, change of lighting,
A new image in the frame
A change of perspective, picture this.
A Polaroid picture of a tug-of-war
On a glorious day
Then, "Ready, everyone, PULL!"
I'm the rope.

Prepare for your future, Laura.

---------------------------------------No, no, Laura, you've got to live your life now.

In a couple of years you'll have a stable
job and family, and you'll be thanking me.

----------------------------------------Screw stability. Follow your dreams.
-----------------------------------------Do all the things they tell you
-----------------------------------------Not to. Go to New York. Get—

get real, get practical
Get a logical bone in that debilitating
fanciful body of yours

-----------------------------------------------That self of yours that needs
-----------------------------------------------no body to inhibit its cries
-----------------------------------------------for release.

Oh, give me a break.

------------------------------------------------Yes, please do.
------------------------------------------------Find your break
------------------------------------------------Or live forever with
------------------------------------------------never trying.

Who do you think you are, anyway?
Get a clue.

----------------------------------------------------------Get what you want.

Get a job.

-----------------------------------------------------------Get a life.

Get a future.

------------------------------------------------------------Get the moment.

Stability

---------------------------------------------------------------Excitement

Safety

----------------------------------------------------------------Dreams

Affection

-----------------------------------------------------------------Passion

Logic

------------------------------------------------------------------Freedom

No

--------------------------------------------------------------------Yes

No

---------------------------------------------------------------------Yes

No

----------------------------------------------------------------------Yes…

But neither of them can win, can't you see
And meanwhile, I'm suspended in
bet--------ween
As they t----u---g and p---u---ll at the ends
of my consciousness for all that they're worth
It's kind of like that.

Do you see me now, Mom?
Can you focus that camera lens on me now
Standing on a precipice, poised to J
------------------------------------------- U M P
Into the abyss of glossy pamphlets and
all the reasons why I should sell them my
soul for four years and a shiny piece
of
paper.
Can you picture it now, Mom?
Develop the beginning of understanding.
Can you piece together my internal collage
of college distortion
Snap by mental snapshot
Can you picture that, Mom?
Can you picture that?
Can you see me now, Mom?
(can you see me now)
can you see—