Sarah San

World Records

When I was little I was bent on setting a world record. I thought I could get my name into books for the “longest amount of time spent wearing sunglasses.” Around day four my mother made me take them off. I’ll never forgot the stinging pain in my eyes caused by the exposure to light or the disappointed I had felt when my mother did not support my ambitious goals. My eyes, which had become accustomed to their tinted lenses, dialated.

That night I couldn’t sleep because I was too bitter.
I could not let my mother’s commands prevent me from getting my name into books.
There was no way I was going to give up this easy.
A few days later I took all the blankets off my bed and laid them onto the ground in my closet, determined to break the record for “most consecutive days spent sleeping in closets.” It wasn’t long until my mother caught on and scolded me for my new foolish idea. Defeated, I gathered up my sheets and reassembled them onto the mattress.

The Way Things Are (I Accept That)

I jump into my bed at nine fifty four convinced that tonight I will turn in early to wake up tomorrow refreshed. I see the floral pattern of my sheets as I pull them over my head, wishing that they smelled like flowers and not cigarettes. I shut my eyes tight and count numbers to fall asleep. I make it to seven hundred and seventy six before finally giving up. I am defeated by insomnia again. Frustrated, I make my way to the drawers. I push through the mounds of denim in search of something clean enough. I pull out a pair of purple pants wishing they smelled of purple things, like lilacs perhaps, rather than stale beer.

Sighing, I push my left leg through first pant leg and then the other follows. I force my body into the jeans, tugging on the belt loops, defying gravity, up not down, finally ending the struggle when the jeans meet my belly button. Instinctively, I push my pinky inside my belly button to dig out whatever’s inside, firmly aware that this habit may seem unusual to some. But what can I do? Things get into holes.

At a young age, I was told I asked too many questions. So, I just accepted and embraced the fact that some thingsare the way they are. There’s no need for an explanation. The quicker we accept it and leave it alone, the happier we’ll be. That time will no longer be wasted, allowing more Sundays to ponder the important things, like Pluto, the future, the taste of canned potatoes, holes. Belly buttons were made to trap lint, mazes confuse children, shoes laces come undone, pot-holes deflate bike tires, and nothing will change that.

Parched, I pull a bottle out from under my bed and with each glass of wine the ability to bullshit with myself feels less strange. It is simple again. The room is spinning, and I acknowledge the motion, contributing this occurrence to the world’s always revolving manner. Tonight must be special, or at least situational (right place, right time, right wine), granting me this ability and privilege to feel the Earth’s mighty rotation, slowly but swiftly, through the holes in my dirty old socks.


Sarah San is a poet currently living in South Korea. She is attempting to figure out some things in her life while she is working abroad. She plans on travelling for many years.