I know how it feels when no one wants you
–they won’t leave you alone. They won’t leave you
alone. Their downcast eyes look through me. Their
reluctance to talk to me engages.
The telephone won’t stop not ringing. Their
e-mails, which never arrive, backlog, so
few that I simply can’t keep up with them.
My doorbell never stops not ringing. Knocks
on my pane never cease, they never cease
like there is no beginning. And those cards
and notes and letters and gifts–where do they
get the time not to be so thoughtful? I
wish that others would leave me alone, let
me have some peace–Christ, I’m not a people
-person. I’m surrounded–they’re everywhere.
I’ll be laid out on the sofa, watching
television, say, reruns of The Lone
Ranger or The Fugitive–and the phone
won’t ring, disturbing me, so I get up
to pick up and answer and they’re humming
just like a dial-tone when I order out
for pizza or Chinese. Or I’ll be in
the bathtub, soaking my (bad) right leg, when
somebody’s not practically breaking
down the door to say hello or borrow
sugar or tools or the latest copy
of Soldier of Fortune. Dammit. I don’t
get out and wrap a towel around my groin
and slip into my sandals and open
the door just to see someone from work
with a birthday cake and hear him and all
the others who aren’t standing behind him
shouting Happy Birthday. Am I surprised? Hell
yes, I don’t say. Come in, and they do, and
I excuse myself to get dressed and when
I return there’s nobody there–I’ve groomed
too long and they’ve even taken the cake
away with them and the single candle
which stands for forty-eight. All those presents
they haven’t left–by the time I’ve unwrapped
’em all, there’s nothing left, there’s just no end
to the love, the floor’s not strewn with ribbons,
paper, and bows. Then I don’t cry. Not much.
What's Your Reaction?
I have had poetry published in Ascent, Chiron Review, McNeese Review, Adirondack Review, Weber, Florida Review, South Carolina Review, Carolina Quarterly, Arkansas Review, Poem, South Dakota Review, and many other journals. I have authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel (BrickHouse Press, 2004), The Weight of the World (BrickHouse, 2006), and The Story of My Lives (BrickHouse, 2008). I have taught university English in the US, China, and the Palestinian West Bank.