The Surface of Last Scattering
I drag a long, heavy chain of sleepless nights behind me, doubt the sincerity of the doleful expression on the face of a graveyard angel, always give a dollar to alkies when I have a dollar to give, translate Neruda into the dot-dot-dash of Morse code, shut my eyes to avoid seeing dictators humping dead boys, feel a little less certain every day about my chances, say “Alexa, play ‘Alone’ by Marshmallow,” let people just assume that I’m conforming, stop in a doorway to wait for you to catch up, a roly-poly gunman sent from Chicago to do a job.
Someone keeps rearranging the furniture in my office when I’m not there. Last week I found my desk shoved against the door like a barricade. Administrators ignore my voice mails, my emails, my appeals for a little justice. It’s their preferred way of telling me I’m unimportant. And it’s true, I’m no one. I have drops for my crumbling eyesight and pills for the pain everywhere else. The doctor says my body is attacking itself. You can’t see cuts or claw marks. All you can see if you get close enough is my skin breaking out in signs and wonders.
Howie Good is the author of three recent collections, “I’m Not a Robot” from Tolsun Books, “The Titanic Sails at Dawn” from Alien Buddha Press, and “What It Is and How to Use It” from Grey Book Press.
Artwork by: Flora Westbrook