She tells me she is a snap.
She tells me she is a dragon.
She tells me she is a fruit.
She tells me she is a basket.
And a case and a study and a guide.
And a post and an apocalypse.
She tells me to make sausage.
When life is a mix of lips.
She gives me two thumbs.
Up and three gold stars.
Some days I feel as if our affair.
Will go on forever.
Other days I know.
That it has already collapsed.
Into an absurd call and response.
A child’s book of now and meow.
I tell her I am the cat and its pajamas.
And a party and a favor.
And a road that always gets taken.
Author's Commentary: “The Optimist” starts with word play and improvisation, and I think that improvisation requires a great deal of faith that something positive will happen. I hope that the poem retains its upbeat energy through some pretty clear tonal shifts. (I hope that we all retain our upbeat energy through our own tonal shifts.)
Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has three recent chapbooks: Set List (Bitchin Kitsch,) In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press.) His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cloudbank.