Debt Free



I knew someone
Who went broke throwing clam bakes
A generous backfire
There are wet dreams
It aches to wake from
Like unlearning the axiom that
To love anyone
You have to love everyone
Watching my love rescue insects
Is a good reason to call someone my love
I can’t believe this impulse persists
In a world upheld by systems
Out to destroy our innocence
There comes a time
To put away childish things
And there comes a time
To have a drink about things
It was a fun party
Though I paid for it in afterthoughts
How I trampled my own resolve
To leave before the b-side
And woke up feeling
Like a communal loofah
Like a composite sketch of a woman
Who has just robbed a bank
In the name of love
This wealth I have
It is pummeling me



Sarah Jean Grimm is the author of Soft Focus and a founding editor of Powder Keg Magazine. She edits the small press After Hours Editions, and hosts Bank Holiday, a reading series in Catskill, NY. She lives in New York City, where she works as Publicity Manager at Catapult, Soft Skull, & Counterpoint Press.

“Debt Free” originally appeared in TLR: Feverish

CORRECTION NOTE: The print edition of “Debt Free” has an error in the first and last line. This post represents the poem’s correct version.the front cover of TLR: Feverish, summer 2019