Why I Live with My Parents

David Rodriguez

If you want to change professions?
Be immersed in details, anxious and
sleep-deprived. And to be a good
husband? Know the names of things.

Mars is made of breathable salt called
perchlorate that halts your hormones
so you don’t have to apologize. I could
live that life. I could live it well.

But when I see opportunity, memories
like xanthan thicken my old mistakes,
make them muscular and dense, sculptural
and damning. The next day comes.

Show me the word explaining the last
six years. Is there a name for validating
arbitrary change, filtered through fear,
destined for ruin, but made in hope?

Is there a place for the chemists of
Mars salt, the bird’s nest envious,
the men and women who can’t carry
each other over the threshold?