Oral History

illustration of a woman walking on top of a speech bubble
Gabriela Pesqueira

I read somewhere that people don’t mind a long wait for
    the elevator as long as there’s a mirror in the lobby.

I read that scientists don’t know why some girls’
    ponytails bounce up and down and other girls’
    swing from side to side.

I read in a blog comment “i feel that hot chicks just
    like going to public events to be hot” and on some
    level I kind of agree.

I once read that rich people have to invent new names
    because the good names get “stolen” by poor people.

I read that the atlas moth is born without a mouth and
    has one week to mate before it dies of starvation.

I read about a brain-imaging study that showed a dead
    fish could recognize human emotions.

I read that plants can “hear” themselves being eaten.

I read that Pisces dislike “the past coming back to haunt.”

I spend a lot of time waiting around for something
    wonderful to happen.

I often feel that I’m waiting for an unexpected life-
    changing force to come from nowhere—but how
    can it if I expect it?

I feel most myself—most trapped in my self—when
    I’m bored.

I experience boredom as a kind of luxurious misery.

I read that geologically speaking we are “marooned
    in time,” nothing interesting happening for eternity,
    as far as we’re concerned, on either side.

I asked my parents if they think I look like them and
    they said no.

This poem is from Elisa Gabbert’s forthcoming collection, Normal Distance, which will be published this fall. It appears in the May 2022 print edition.