Daily Archives: December 3, 2021

Telecaster

The Telecaster
is in my hands
unplugged at 
11 PM so as
not to disturb
anyone but me.

Even in this
incomplete state
it does its best
to cry and
offer prayer
as I try

to make
my sick hands
move one iota
more like they did
six months
a year two years

ago. The doctor
calls this “diabetic 
neuropathy” and
people beyond
the doctor like to say
it’s my fault

or at least my fault
and my parents’
fault but what I know is
I was bad at this before
it happened and am
no better now that
my fingertips feel 

nothing. Meanwhile
the Telecaster is still
doing that transparent thing
where its voice becomes
my voice and my voice
becomes an insult

as well as a prayer
and together we do 
what a thousand thousand
teenagers with guitars
have been doing
forever: trying to

keep their pain silent
when the house is asleep
and all they want to do is
scream. Here I am though, 
old and numb, trying to pretend
that old and numb doesn’t lead

to the same
kind of pain, this
clicky-quiet
Telecaster pain,
this stumble-finger agony,
the discomfort

of knowing
that regardless of whose fault
all of this is,
I am failing this guitar,
and it is not
the other way around.