I should never wash the dishes.
There is something about standing alone
and letting my mind off its chain
that fires the flare
and brings all the shameshades running.
Every stupid line
every heartbreaking moment
all the times I should have walked
all the times I stayed too long
all the pages I ripped out of the notebook and burned,
in glorious technicolor
and I don’t know how to muzzle them,
cull them, put them out.
They keep returning like rats to an overflowing dumpster.
I don’t have an incantation to banish them
cannot scatter them with threats or thrown rocks
and there are always others standing in line to take a shot.
Reason doesn’t help at the kitchen sink
or at 2am when the math dance medley of Howmany Howlong
Until I Have To Get Up For Real
is in full swing.
I tell myself briskly,
those people don’t even remember me.
But my brain whispers….oh, they do
and you did
and you didn’t and you should have
why didn’t you
That is the side I never show,
the song I never sing,
the knowledge that I will never live up to my own expectation.
should begin at home.
But those shades
those “you fell short phantoms”
are at home,
well fed and comfortable too
and they don’t want me to forget…