Why I Play Candy Crush on my Phone Every Morning

to wake myself up slowly
to see vibrant color
to control a screen
to follow rules
to get hints
to be able to stop at any time
to let my mind wander in a field of colorful explosions with or without sound
to write poems in my head
to waste time
to fill time when I’m waiting for something to happen that does or does not happen
to keep still
to stave off existential angst
to be frustrated at not moving on until I almost give up and stop and then I don’t
to be urged on by silliness

to enjoy something alone
to burst a line of candy and release all the bears
to spread the jam
to enjoy candy without eating any
to appear as I have something to do
to keep the sound off
to sit on my bed
to have something to do during commercials

to avoid


to send lives to people I don’t know and receive help now and then
to sense a kind of progress

to get to level 3181 without ever spending money
to learn about knew features
to know what the blue turtle is for
to dodge the bombs
to make special candies
to blow up the screen with color
to remember the time I ate a bag of Swedish fish driving from Mahopac to Alfred, New York
to feel nothing for as long as I can
to allow my mind to wander

to ignore
the Linda Ronstadt song I woke up humming or
the car I drove in the dream I can’t quite remember or
the way my mind settles on the times when I was less than fully human
         that I want to do over
         that are embedded

to have something on my imaginary to-do list to keep my mind off of pain


to think about what I might do
to go into a trance

to sink into memory

of purple Huffy bikes
of yellow jackets in the zucchini
of blood clots in the lungs
to learn not to feel
to ward off memory as fast as it appears
to know that I’ve accomplished something nothing
to become intangible  

Anne Graue is the author of Full and Plum-Colored Velvet, (Woodley Press, 2020) and Fig Tree in Winter (Dancing Girl Press, 2017) and has poetry in SWWIM Every Day, Verse Daily, Rivet Journal, Mom Egg Review, Flint Hills Review, Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art, and in print anthologies, including The Book of Donuts (Terrapin Books, 2017) and Coffee Poems (World Enough Writers, 2019). Her book reviews appear in FF2 Media, Adroit, Green Mountains Review, Glass Poetry Journal, and The Kenyon Review. She is a poetry editor for The Westchester Review.