Next Thing Wanted by Sage Schilling

Now that I'm busy, 

I know what those men felt, 

successful ones in Starbucks cafes 

off the PCH in Laguna Beach, 

rotund with years of rich meals, 

over-worked, exhausted and lonely. 

Now that life has fallen into place, 

am I ready to return to Maslow's hierarchy:

food, shelter... love?  Or at least 

someone to have dinner with before 

kissing goodbye until next weekend 

because we work-sleep the in-betweens?  

How curiously quick we find spaces of lack.

Unlike those men, though, I feel I am 

levels behind, my high school salary

not enough for more than renting a room

in town with girls from Craigslist. 

But it is enough

to eat out tonight and contemplate.

Maybe I will not find love. My boss 

doesn't understand this, and so I decline his invitation.

Sun not yet set, I depart 

after a dinner date with my adulting self.  

Sage Schilling is a professor who teaches composition at Oklahoma State University. Most recently she has traveled through Europe for 8 months to write poetry about self-exile and seeking love vs. freedom. She holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Cincinnati and a Ph.D. in Women's Studies and Religion from Claremont Graduate University. Schilling writes regularly for (under Lache S.) and has poetry published in in Crossways, DodgingtheRain, SurVision, Pussy Magic, and the anthology Teachers Who Write (Waterford Teachers' Centre). Find her on Twitter and Instagram @seagreengoddess.