Leah Mueller

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Permanent Vacation

Old women are more
sedentary than old men
and less happy, yet women
live five years longer.

We bear our angst,
carry extra weight
and still come out ahead
in the mortality contest.

Despite being semi-active
and relatively happy,
men check out earlier.

Perhaps they think
some sort of Palm Beach
awaits them in the afterlife
with brown cocktails and recliners,

so they are eager to pack
the remnants of their testosterone
inside a carry-on bag
and catch a good seat on the plane.

Or maybe women relish
the time we won’t
need to spend listening

to detailed accounts
of petty male woes:
their poor digestions,
their balding crowns.

We look forward to our
five-year solo vacations,
when we’ll finally bask
in unrestricted sunshine,
our pudgy bodies coated in oil.

We’ll lounge in deck chairs
underneath striped umbrellas
with lemonade and a good novel.

With a snap of our fingers
we’ll summon the cabana boys
to service our whims
and disappear afterwards.

Meanwhile, the average
life expectancy in the United States
has declined for both genders
and is dropping every year.

That tropical beach
is looking better and better.

Fake News

She doesn’t
        love her husband,

because he loves
        somebody else,

so she loves another,
        but he doesn’t love her,

he loves a woman who
        is married to someone
                who loves her.

The second woman
        loves her husband and the
                other man who loves her,
        but not unconditionally.

She has seen them both
        in action and inaction.

She stood apart, gaping
        while they picked their feet
                and slapped their hands
                        against their faces.

She bore witness
        to their petty crimes,
                so she isn’t fooled.

After the body count
        has been tallied,

love is a word
        people toss around
                like newspapers.


Leah Mueller is an indie writer and spoken word performer from Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of two chapbooks and four books. Her latest book, a memoir entitled Bastard of a Poet was published by Alien Buddha Press in June, 2018. Leah’s work appears or is forthcoming in Blunderbuss, The Spectacle, Outlook Springs, Crack the Spine, Atticus Review, Drunk Monkeys, Your Impossible Voice, and other publications. She was a featured poet at the 2015 New York Poetry Festival, and a runner-up in the 2012 Wergle Flomp humor poetry contest.