Ada Limon calls the Poetry Crisis Line

JERRY (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
ADA LIMON (caller): Look, we are not unspectacular things.
JERRY: True.
LIMON: We’ve come this far, survived this much.
JERRY: Good for you!
LIMON: What would happen if we decided to survive some more?
JERRY: You probably would. Until you didn’t.
LIMON: To love harder?
JERRY: Uh…about the same.


From “Dead Stars” by Ada Limon

If You Give a Squid a Squeegee


If you give a squid a squeegee
he’ll wipe the windows of your submarine
while you’re stopped at a traffic signal.

If a squid wipes your windows
he will expect a tip.

If you give a squid a tip
he’ll need a pocket to put it in.

If you give a squid pants
he’ll want a hole for his tentacles.

If you give a squid your scissors
he’ll want to cut paper snowflakes.

You’ll have to explain
that sewing scissors
shouldn’t be used for paper
even after it’s gotten soggy.

If you give a squid an explanation
he’ll want to write it down.
He has the ink already
but no pen.

If you give a squid a pen
he’ll want paper to write on

…which will get soggy
and sludge your windows.

And chances are
if he sludges your windows
he’ll want a squeegee
to wipe it off.