Different Birthdays

If I’d been born a house,
I would have liked to have had
a family within me.  I’d have enjoyed
the traditional nature of my insides
and thrilled to the secrets and confidences
shared among the loving members, and if
had by chance been infected with
a family of abuse, perhaps a light
through one of my windows
might have illuminated a moment of pain,
and changed the approach of a bad person
into one of remorse.

If I’d been born a workshop,
a factory, or a personal craft studio —
I’d have enjoyed the daily industry within,
the making of well-tooled items
by hand or with complex and elegant
machines.  At night after all
had returned to their homes I’d have light
from the moon enter and caress
the worn surfaces, the works in progress,
the waiting benches yearning to be filled.

But I was born instead a man
with an interior crowded with guts and stench,
and there’s no light getting in there.
I don’t know how to take what goes on in there,
from war to self-hatred, from spilled bile
to a circular flow of sugar sludged blood.
I see it all and ask myself, how is it possible
that I am guest or intruder
in my own skin? If I am that,
then I want to believe
that a spirit also dwells within,
something different,
something handy,
something skilled,
something like family
to this betrayed munchkin
speaking to you here
who is watching helplessly
as it all goes to shit;
but the evidence suggests
and that’s why
I daydream
of such very different

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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