Self-Portrait With Possible Future Problems

Dispossessed of an acute paranoia,
I studied the swimmer in the mirror
with his slightly below average IQ
and undeveloped wrists the size
of puddling votive candles.
I wanted to pray for him, but I couldn’t
remember his hair color, much less
pry those ornery kernels from my molars
to form the words. “Schlabeem, baluubal
lird, crosgwit,” finally leaked out,
which did nothing but echo
my rambunctious thoughts to a tee.
Momentarily forgetting my place
in this heady and quite decorous air
of supplication, a proverb overheard
at the unisex urinal and dump depot
at McWhazits barged uninvited
into my already sluggish synapses:
“A day without your maiden name
is like a day without a bar code.”
I took this as a sign of forgiveness,
and took it with me to the altar
of declining expectations,
and indeed, still take it daily
with my B-12 and sprig of lilac,
my snake oil, and my good luck
daytime sleep.

Chris Semansky | Mudlark No. 20
Contents | From the Diary of a Closet Shadow