Let’s take a break. Let’s take five. No, seven, in honor of the seventh day. No, in honor of the cigarette, which takes exactly seven minutes to smoke all the way down. Let’s call it quits. Let’s take a liquid lunch and not come back for days, weeks, months. Let’s not and say we did. I used to say that a lot as a kid: Let’s not and say we did. It sounded subversive and anarchic. I was big into anarchy and subversion. I quit high school and landed on my feet in a college for creative fuck-ups on the Hudson. I quit marriages and landed on my feet in other marriages. I’m all for quitting. Quitting gets a bad rap. The people who tell you to never give up, to keep fighting no matter what — don’t you just want to slap them? A few of them are standing around my hospital bed right now, saying to keep fighting. I want to get up and slap them, one by one, then hug them, hard, then lie back down and call it quits. — PAUL HOSTOVSKY
Paul Hostovsky’s latest book of poems is Mostly (FutureCycle Press, 2021). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize, two Best of the Net Awards, and have been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac. He makes his living in Boston as a sign language interpreter.