Things That Break
by: Jamaal May
Skin of a plum. Rotting tooth.
Switches cut down by a child
to lash a child's legs.
A siege does something like this
against sturdy walls. The wrong rules.
A dozen angel figurines flying
from a balcony.
Flailing fist. Splint.
Forefinger and index,
dislocated (not broken). One points
to the left of a man
and the rubbery thing inside quivers
familiar. Raise your hand
if you know how to do this.
If enough hair fails to escape
the pull of a drain and the drain
sputters and fails to swallow water
we will likely say it's broken.
Waves. Traffic lights.
The craven infantry
of roaches at the flick of a switch.
Will--A child in a shrinking living room
sitting more still than the father.
Feeling a little broken myself today. I think that's why this poem spoke to me. The list of things that don't work. Snap. Fail. Give up. I appreciate not feeling alone is my contemplation of failure.
I was supposed to finish grading my students' midterm exams by class time this afternoon. Didn't happen. That makes me feel like a loser as an instructor. I was supposed to rewrite some of the manuscript I finished last week. Didn't happen. In fact, out of the ten things I set out to do today, I only was able to check off three.
Just add Saint Marty to the list of things that break.
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