Two Poems By Christine Naprava

Ode to Trevor Philips

Why would anyone 

want to play 

any character other than 

Trevor Philips in GTA?

It’s a question I asked myself 

just the other day

as I tore through that 

copycat landscape of LA

in a stolen hearse

headed for the hills,

my sullied white tee

splotched with enemies’ blood.

In the comfort of my boyfriend’s bedroom,

his PlayStation 5 glowing cobalt,

I asked the question aloud,

seeking validation:

Why would anyone play any character other than Trevor?

I don’t know,

I think my boyfriend might’ve answered,

but I knew he knew.

I ditched the hijacked hearse 

in the crevice of a canyon

and trekked through the wilderness

to the coast,

all as Trevor,

the very best of the best.

I breathed Trevor’s heavy breaths.

Together, we lost stamina

as we hurtled toward

that crystalline CGI Pacific Ocean.

Trevor Philips, 

you’ll never be physically capable 

of reading this,

but your fans will, 

and I need them to know,

as I’m sure they already do:

You’re not just one of the playable protagonists in GTA−

you are GTA.

A Twenty-One-Year-Old Me Thanks the Cast of The Sopranos for Their Service

Would you believe me 

if I told you 

every last cast member

of The Sopranos

held my hand 

through a breakup?

As my young adult world 

crashed and burned around me,

my parents inserted themselves 

into the lives of Tony and Carmela Soprano.

I don’t think I ever watched an episode in its entirety, 

but it was the bits and pieces,

the wandering into the living room 

with no agenda except the agenda 

to be very sad,

that saved me.

They averaged two episodes a day, 

and on the days they did not watch, 

I cried out

for Meadow, 

for A.J., 

for Christopher, 

for Janice’s very unfortunate tongue tattoo.

In a fever dream,

Janice pressed a cool rag 

to my sweat-beaded forehead 

and promised me life 

wouldn’t always be this shitty.

In life, my appetite was nonexistent.

I was neglecting my schoolwork.

I was convinced I had it bad, 

that no one was worse off than me.

Then I watched Tony Soprano drop to the floor

and struggle to rise to his feet,

his bloody paw clutching that standard desk telephone,

Uncle Junior’s infernal Cazzata Malanga! still ringing in both our ears,

and in that moment, 

I knew: 

I might’ve had it bad, 

but I didn’t have it Tony Soprano bad.

Christine Naprava is a writer from South Jersey. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Studio OneSoundings EastPunk Noir MagazineLiterary YardTheDaily DrunkAnti-Heroin ChicSledgehammer Lit, and the Lunch Break Zine. She tweets @CNaprava and Instagrams @cnaprava

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