poetry// (bearing witness)

I have sunken into the twin bed at my parents’ house.
We are one and the same: the mattress and I,

the ancient-ness of this bedroom, the loss
of so many things, the having of so much

and the knowing I have done nothing to
deserve any of it.

(i am so small, so not like the hand of my father, so not like the tree in the front yard, yes they are little compared to the bleak, quiet, contorted sky, but still not like this / i am small / like the sticker on an eggplant my mother carries home from the supermarket in the midst of a global pandemic and we huddle at home for shelter around pounds and pounds of pasta / like the balled up piece of tissue paper that tumble dried into lint on and stuck to my sweater that i scooped out of the machine during the thick of a public health crisis when friends are being laid off and their friend’s relatives are dying and the local school teachers drive through the neighborhood col-de-sac honking their horns saying “we miss you”, to the sheltered-in place ears of a child student, a tiny student, yes, but not nearly as small as me / i am a fleck, i am a flash, i am microscopic / like the virus that travels into people’s bodies through gaping cavities like their noses and mouths and eyes and how much i love my eyes! / they are the only part of me i can look at and see myself in them / my eyes, a fleck on a fleck, a paper cut on the pinky finger of a flash, a blink personified)

So I do not move and I do not run and
I do not do the things I have promised to

so many people. How could they ever
expect anything from someone so small?!

So very very small! How large the world is!
How gigantic! How massive how humongous how

ginormous is this aching, troubled world!!!
How vast is pain and how very very very small, am I.

(of course I drown in it / of course I do).

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