The lady in the picture is a fraction of her whole-a bit of glasses, hair like mine. Did she shape the assignment or was it the Wizard of Oz for freshman comp? I don’t know, but as with so many words shaped into injunctions it sticks in my craw–pick the one thing? Not a good thing? Not one among brothers? I suspect literary ambush, which then feels like literary paranoia, but I kick around/go into the weeds with this one thing-
You. You are the one thing. The voice in my head steadying my coward’s heart. My man, Jesus I tell Madeline about that universal division of time into before and after You.
Like if you believed in evolution it would be 50 billion, million zillion years BCE, and those sylphish, wispy 2000 after.
For the last three weeks I have had hives. Still have hives. I have sifted words in and out of how this feels and each time all words have come up short. They do not stop the itch. Like quack doctors, snake oil salesmen, or phone-a-gypsy psychics they play at reading my palms then leave me with no…
No salve for my slowly metamorphic
So I threaten them with silence or just undoing their fragile orthographic pieces unbending bes and esses into straight black lines