Leigh Stein


A Brief History of My Life Part VII

I can’ t go to the east village anymore
because it is like going on a tour

of my worst dates. I get older, my heart
leaps at the sight of children

who don’ t belong to me, I pronounce
everything like an Italian opera title.

I used to listen to songs and have someone
in mind for the you parts, now I just want

to be where the light is intense, I want
the kind of heat that kills you

if you drive into it unprepared. This
isn’ t a metaphor for anything else.


At the gym, they told me I would not die,
I would only get sexier, and I believed them.

I spent my nights wondering if this was going to turn
into something long-term, if this was what is meant by casual,

or if this was just my annual catastrophic disappointment
because if it wasn’ t, then I would have to brace

myself. I took my medication and looked at pictures
of people who were not in love with me. I deleted

their names from my cache, said hello to my cat
over the phone, took more medication. Days