Jessy Randall



Don't Be Mad


Don't be mad, but I drank the last coke

stole your girlfriend, wrecked your car, and

unsubscribed you from all your magazines.

But don’t be mad – I didn't do it on purpose,

and anyway, you have too much of a temper,

you need to chill out, calm down, relax.

All at once, do it! Don't be mad, do what

I say. Go stupid. You’ll prefer it. I do.




Forgetting Simon Perchik


Was he that guy, the one who did that thing?

No, that was someone else.

He may have been in elementary school with you,

or you might be getting him confused

with a boy whose last name was Simon

and a character from Fiddler on the Roof.

Oh Simon, Simon Perchik, Perchik comma Simon,

do something memorable! Take off your clothes

in the middle of the street, throw up

all over the stage on opening night, dance

crazy at the prom, something. Please!




Trying Not to Fall in Love


Trying not to fall in love

is as futile

as trying to count the drupelets

on a raspberry.






Marriage is this thing where you always are

wishing you could have a little time to yourself

and you think it would be so nice if you could just

spend a night all alone in the bed, swimming

around in all the covers with all the pillows, but

then when you finally have a chance to do it

you can't turn out the light, you can't go to sleep

until your husband gets home.




After Teaching


After teaching

there are the rabbits

on the playground


Every day

at least

one of them


If it was

a bad teaching day

I like to see a rabbit


If it was

a good teaching day

I still like

to see a rabbit




An Occasion For Which a Poem Has Almost Certainly Never Before Been Written


My high school boyfriend Steve

(the vegetarian who believed

in the healing power of crystals)

goes on TV on the game show

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

and wins $125,000

in about fifteen minutes.


Regis Philbin

waves hello

to a woman seated in the audience:

my ex-boyfriend’s wife,

brown-haired, with glasses,

like me

and every other girl he ever dated.



has gained weight and lost some hair.

The hair that remains is

in a pony tail.

Regis laughs politely at Steve’s jokes.


I wonder,

does he think of me

when he mentions high school

on question number four?

Does he wonder

if I am watching?


Does he remember sort of proposing to me

over garlic bread at Grisante’s?


I hope so.


Then, I hope not.