Paul Hostovsky

Let’s call it quits. Let’s take
five. No, seven, in honor of
the seventh day. No, in honor
of the cigarette, which takes
exactly seven minutes to smoke
all the way down.

Let’s call it a day, a week,
two weeks. Let’s take a liquid lunch
and not come back for days, weeks,
months. Let’s not and say we did.
I used to say that a lot as a kid:

Let’s not and say we did.

It sounded subversive and anarchic.
I was big into anarchy and subversion.
I quit high school and landed on my feet
in a college for creative fuck-ups
on the Hudson.

I quit marriages and landed on my feet
in other marriages.

I’m all for quitting.
Quitting gets a bad rap. The people
who tell you to never give up,
to keep fighting no matter what–
don’t you just want to slap them?

A few of them are standing around
my hospital bed right now, saying
to keep fighting. I want to get up
and slap them, one by one, then
hug them, hard, then lie back down
and call it quits.