There’s Always Something Breaking or Someone Gone Missing

When I first learned

that I was blind

I worked hard

and became unblind.

Then I noticed

the absence of taste

but love had already packed

and caught the bus

back to east St. Louis.

I went a whole year

in the old neighborhood

not wearing any shoes,

feeling the painfully

hot warning

of the driveway

about standing

still for too long,

but I was twelve

and had nothing

to run from back then.

The discovery of what’s

been missing

has always been there,

always one thing to handle

after another,

like the yellow

pocket knife

on the kitchen counter

when grandfather

said that’s all you will need.

The feeling of time

rushing over me

is a tightening noose

and if I keep finding

more things that I’m missing

to have a decent life

I’ll collapse through the center.

I’ll break in half

like the center beam

of the tool shed

that could take the weight

of grandfather’s swinging

body for three days

but not four.

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