By Lee Todd Lacks
This is the poem I like the least when I dare to look in the mirror and write nothing but the truth Holy fuck I’m so stuck I’m not gonna lie and say I wasn’t reeling before Corona hit the ceiling my paint has been peeling for quite some time now all these grand delusions of respectability I was convinced that I could reinvent myself if only the illuminati would let me so I could be a part of something that mattered hearing science and biotechnology conversations that didn’t involve typing on a computer screen with a group of bosom friends who had grown close after the first few weeks of classes that were kicking our rear ends slouching on couches at some family-owned coffee shop where the girls were past the point of caring whether or not I was staring as they lounged with their legs uncrossed and their dresses riding high you ask me if I need help when you see me stumble around at night and I lie and say that I’m alright not because I am but simply because I hate the fact that you feel compelled to ask and when you think I’m out of earshot I can almost hear you thank God you’re not as I walk down this cobblestone paved street past the sprawling bars and restaurants strings of incandescent lights hanging all around like the midway of some surreal carnival I might as well be walking upon a river that Medusa petrified with her gaze to spite the pretty girls in their spikey heels as I maneuver boundary ropes and picnic tables where drunken revelers sit elbow to elbow wondering why this legally blind guy is wandering in their midst I can’t tell you how many times I imagined showing you the admission letter that I had received from some prestigious university informing me that I had been accepted into the doctoral program of my choice I imagined the whole family in the kitchen where we would all rejoice brothers, sisters-in law, nephews, and you the day I shared the life-changing news and I imagined both of us crying and you being so happy as I kept insisting that you were the reason I got in because for the first time in forever I had done something worth mentioning every time I exercise I tell myself I’m preparing for my triumphant return training for a competition I may never be invited to join and the nephrologist with the repressed affect seems almost amused by the fact that I’m not nearly as sick my numbers say I should be why wouldn’t she? deep down inside I can’t help but think I might not have much time but I need to believe there will come a day when you will hear me sing and play again and if I try my very best I might be someone worth remembering and there will come a day when we walk through that hallowed, wrought-iron gate and I will be so proud to introduce you to everyone so they can meet the person who made me I’m not gonna lie I don’t know where I am and I don’t know how I’m going as I hobble back over these cobblestone streets but believe me when I tell you I will find my way back.
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