Poetry: Maybe if I was a Goner

when I am a goner?
           no more brushing my teeth—or a dog’s teeth.
                     no one would tell Me
          my shoes don’t match my belt.
          I wouldn’t have anyone
          riding me about competence.
          I’d feel all my weight
on my ass. I’d look myself over

   considering, rather disappointed,
         hand holding up my head,

                    What did I have
                    going on later?

this wouldn’t be so bad,
          I’ve got a couple things I know
          I’d wake up once
          or twice, after naps—
                    really Every Day,

such as the weight
           of a newborn brother,
           or nephew.
the wait of love hopping up
from bed to use the bathroom,
the impression on the bedding,
the imprint of hairline inside my arm.

passing by the bed
later in the day to say:         Yes,        there she was,
                                          This   is   where she was.  

           my ass
the 1st time ice-skating, A rubber
kick-ball’s smell, the scratchy rug
in Kindergarten. Hair,
the smell of wet baseballs, cleats
           before and after a game.
           freshly disinfected hospital beds.
           freshly embalmed relatives.

                      One-Sixth the weight of a casket.
           for shoes not matching a belt.
                     toothpaste, cocaine,
                                an apple slice,
                     when I wanted an apple slice,
           outdated milk when I really wanted milk.    Yeah—even that.
                      the sound of a faucet saying

                                 when I was yet to sleep
beside a swishing of Love with a mouth full of mouthwash—            

          the eventual sound of it meeting the sink.

the feeling of only Five-years-old,
           a life of 2nd hand sweatpants with worn-out elastic.
                                 Action figures—         
                       a Million Action Figures
                               each with something to say.

the tug of Truth on my pant leg,
           cowering behind me,
           the mass of my sole,
to step aside and give an informal
           introduction. Realizing,
                     for the 1st time, like everyone,
                                I too have some thing to say
                                Realizing     like some,     
                     an unused toothbrush is the loneliest item in an apartment.

           the Black Nylon winter
jackets worn during garage sale season.    
           The Scent of Fall
           squeezing free from pockets
           by a hug welcome home.Mom—yep, in a way
                                                                I’ll never convey.

                      How cold it can get.
           an Infant shivering after a 1st bath.
imaginary lines of a two-year-old’s sign language.
                      One-Quarter life crises.
                      Internal Cardiac Devices.
                      so—I suppose—I would
                                mull that stuff over.

                      and a toothbrush—I suppose.
                                  then remind Mom
                      I never poked my eye out,
                      so she knew she did alright—
       but only if I was a Goner.


All rights reserved to Mike Barthman

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