Glen Armstrong

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.
And rectums.
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.)

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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.