is every war followed by a gilded age?

By: Julie Huang

Google says there are more than 150 billion pennies in circulation
is that more or less than how many pearls lie in the ocean?
who knows how many pearls there are?
I feel the squeeze of self when I am forced to choose sides
to choose or to choose
this one or that one
this one or this one
this one, this?
this one.
yeah, right.
moreover, no one else hurts me for not taking bribes
like my fingers may break under the weight of all that water
do you guys get sick of seeing Abraham Lincoln everywhere?
my teacher said he was a professional
do professionals deserve to live on in copper plated zinc
and if so after death where do I live?
the ocean has beautiful real estate, I’ve heard
I swoop down and touch the wings of the gulls
in my spare time
sometimes i feel nothing first and then i feel angry
write in your own words, always. your own words.
nobody else can write your words for you.
like that's a good thing
when the only thing I know how to write are my own words
they live in my notebooks on my calendar my future
they are not pure they are
two percent word,
ninety eight percent me,
they are my own.
no chance of someone else screaming: Please! Take me instead! Take me!
no chance of parole.
so, simply writing takes a lot of me.
pearl diving seems less painful, but less easy