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After Ivana Zivic’s I’m Play Death

I am in my bedroom. There is no four-poster bed, or 30-year-old mauve carpet,
or windows to see if it is still night. I don’t know what month I am in.
I don’t think there are any more of them here. The walls are wet cardboard.

I marvel that the popcorn ceiling hasn’t fallen yet. Somehow, I am not worried
even though I am submerged in the floorboards and this pool is murky
and my dog is lapping it up somewhere over me. She is thirteen and always thirsty now.

I accept this too. And I am still somehow breathing and I tell myself
I can get used to anything. There must be life under here.
My hair is thick and red and reaches my knees. I feel it growing. I am wearing

a billowy peach maxi dress I bought at Anthropologie for a trip to Hawaii.
I wore it once at a lū’au. I missed that sunset because I didn’t want to leave
The drink line to go to the beach. The sky was pink and purple and perfect

and I posted the photo my son got of it on Instagram. It is a beautiful pic that is floating
above me now with others in my Galaxy that I forgot to charge. I note it is snowing
inside and I wonder how the flowers are faring and why I am not cold.

And I am on my back now and my eyes are open and I am under water but I am not drowning.
And this is usually where I change rooms, or scenes, or fly away, or get someone
to rescue me. Why can’t I do anything anymore? And I am on my back now and my eyes

are open but I am still not surfacing as I hear the news on a TV that I must have left on
giving the newest symptoms and the grim statistics and the rising counts. And I can’t seem
to find the remote, or a comforter, or the moment when I realized I wasn’t asleep.


Victoria Nordlund’s poetry collection Binge Watching Winter on Mute was published by Main Street Rag in June 2019. She is a Best of the Net and 2020 Pushcart Prize Nominee, whose work has appeared in PANK Magazine, Rust+Moth, Pidgeonholes, Maudlin House, and elsewhere. Visit her at

© 2020, Victoria Nordlund

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