Poem: Joshua Johnston and Colin Jewell

from ‘Nostalgia’

Nostalgia . . . fucking nostalgia . . .

Nostalgia, pronounced ohgodmakeitstop

Nostalgia, like loading a sniper rifle with rose petals

Nostalgia, like seeing how many reflections forty mirrors can create

Nostalgia, like a superhero whose only power is the ability to improvise really beautiful eulogies while hungover

Nostalgia, like saying goddammit on the moon

Nostalgia, the little fishhook jerking your smile

Nostalgia, like completing a pilgrimage and feeling nothing

Nostalgia, like a Pulitzer awarded to the small talk of a prostitute

Nostalgia, like helping your high school crush give birth on an airport runway

Nostalgia, like a Ferris wheel that changes you into a different person

Nostalgia, like marrying a stranger because he somehow reminds you of a river you almost drowned in as a child

Nostalgia, like a policeman who follows you from town to town and pulls you over at each city limit to remind you you’re not welcome

Nostalgia, like getting buried at sea with floaties on

Nostalgia, some robo-Christ on a robo-cross

Nostalgia, like blinding yourself so that if you ever have to walk out of the underworld it won’t matter if your glance strays

You open a door marked Nostalgia and immediately fall into a hole so deep that you write a series of commercially ignored but critically adored novels, fall in and out of love twice, and die of old age before your body hits bottom

You ask the taxi driver to take you to where the nostalgia is and he responds, You’re already there

You fall to your knees in a town square in Mexico and beg nostalgia for release

You still dream of immigrating to one of those Scandinavian countries where every citizen is entitled to free nostalgia

You’re offered a placebo and told that it’s nostalgia, but you’re immediately like, I know nostalgia and this isn’t it

You build an igloo out of nostalgia not to keep warm, but to freeze to death more beautifully

You wake up next to a woman who doesn’t exist and creep backward through the universe doing the walk of nostalgia

You swerve to avoid a pileup of nostalgia only to crash into a ditch full of it

Nostalgia, like tossing a penny into a castle moat and making a disgraceful wish

Nostalgia, like getting your face tattooed to look like the sky

Nostalgia, like being found not guilty of a crime you obviously committed because the jury pities how ugly you are

Nostalgia, like laughing about how you were dreamed but never born

Nostalgia, like spraypainting your space helmet gold because looking badass is a slightly higher priority than actually being able to see

Nostalgia, like qualifying for disability because your imagination is so fragile and wondrous that you’re physically incapable of using it for the benefit of anyone but yourself

Nostalgia, like facing the firing squad as the result of casually referring to a tyrant as dude

Nostalgia, like dead men switching graves

Nostalgia, a crib that attracts lightning

Nostalgia, trepanation excused as art

Nostalgia, plastic surgery performed in zero gravity

Nostalgia, God’s idea of a pop song

Nostalgia, like an alien on a planet where diamonds are common and valueless and gravel is rare and expensive sitting and forlornly skipping diamonds across a country pond, wishing he could afford to buy a gravel necklace for his beloved

Nostalgia, like the oldest man in the world telling a bigoted joke and everyone begrudgingly laughing out of fear that the anger or disappointment that failing to laugh could inspire would kill him

Nostalgia, like a lawyer who answers every question with, Your Honor, when looking at my client’s case, I’d ask that you keep in mind that, by any technical definition, I have alcohol poisoning right now

Nostalgia, the process by which you conclude that it’s great to be alive

You stand in line at the nostalgia clinic and watch the sun come up

Your public defender gets the nostalgia charges dropped down to fond reminiscence

You use the weight of your nostalgia to remain anchored to the earth while the rest of your friends float skyward in the rapture

You’re in the dark heart of the Amazon hunting nostalgia when it hits you that nostalgia’s been hunting you all along

You do a bunch of nostalgia and stay up all night studying for your past

You file for divorce and endure months of ugly proceedings just so you can spend more time with your nostalgia

You accidentally stumble upon cave paintings of nostalgia while vacationing in France

You’ve already begun to feel nostalgic for your old nostalgia
Joshua Johnston and Colin Jewell met at a nostalgia rehabilitation clinic in western Kentucky.

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