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re: notice of rent increase

A poem

In this poem, Michelle Everette explores how it hurts to be poor.

re: notice of rent increase

here’s why it hurts to be poor: the
lack permeates everything. you sense &
expect poverty in each relationship; all of
your arguments have the same unventilated loser.

this feels like underwater lunging, presents like
getting smacked then launched outside your ego meat—
while watching yourself react. often satisfactory options

will be unavailable to you, & that’s a tinge you’ll
wear basically everywhere. you’ll also blame insects for
alienating you during conversations where there were none.

the worst of it, though, is the chaos of existing while
actively resisting the empathy shaping your bones,
your morality too. you could eventually stop listening
for love, causing you to become what you once feared.

An image of white metal fire escapes climbing apartment buildings in New York.
Photo from LOC’s Public Domain Archive.

Featured Image credit: Wikipedia Commons; modified by Tempest.

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Michelle Everette View All

Michelle Everette is a writer and educator in Greensboro, North Carolina.