Because I Read Too Much into Everything – by Rebecca Macijeski

I’m not sure how to tell a story with a me in it.
Me is an unconvincing narrator
who doesn’t do what she’s told.
She lets herself be a woman who loves things.
She wakes up and smiles, loves the world
for its dumb strangeness. Me even
still listens to birds unironically. I mean, who does that?!
She has a closet filled with big sweaters she wears
when she reads Plato and Socrates
and cuts up their pages
to make a new religion.

Me likes to have fun with the neighbors.
She leaves pies on their porches, and cut flowers
with their bright hands waving out the vase.
She finds something she likes just about everywhere.
Sometimes, it seems, she single-handedly keeps hope and joy alive
like they’re endangered rhinos she saves from poaching.
Hope has the most beautiful horn.

When she washes her hair, letters come out.
The post office inside keeps sending and sending.
Yes, her brain is a mailroom.
There are thousands of dusty bins
bursting with postcards and boxes and books.
Each has its own address, and
there’s a kind of elegance to it that I can’t understand.
I don’t know where me lives exactly, but I still trust her.
There’s something she knows that I don’t.
I’m glad she won’t tell me
so we can keep imagining visits to each other’s houses
leafing through catalogs and kitchen drawers
for clues, old letters, keepsakes,
little envelopes of seeds. Inside each paper bloom
is the dream of a real one. She’ll say that and I’ll laugh
and be okay not talking for a while.

Rebecca Macijeski holds a PhD from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has attended artist residencies at The Ragdale Foundation, Art Farm Nebraska, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. She has also served as poetry editor for Prairie Schooner and Hunger Mountain. Her poems have appeared in The Missouri Review, The Journal, Nimrod, Sycamore Review, Poet Lore, and many others. She is an Assistant Professor at Northwestern State University. Visit her online at

Photographer’s Note: This poem is overflowing with optimism, comforting thoughts, and appreciation for life. I designed this photo with flower seed packets and real petals to reflect the most vivid image within the poem – the italicized portion at the end. The goal was to capture the same feel-good vibe the poem evokes. Me is alluring and hopeful. Me is happy and alive. Me is colorful and joyful and beautiful…just like the flowers grown from the seeds that lie within the packets.