Alone in the house sitting in a chair looking
at nothing you think about being fully yourself,
never again ever a facade, no matter the situation.
How would it be to never laugh unless something
said was truly funny. How would it be to walk
slow in the rain, a closed umbrella in your hand.
How many people would you turn and walk away
from, leave them in mid-sentence when an idea
of something better to do entered your head.
The first time ever you thought you were in love
you were fifteen. On the way home after seeing
the girl, for no reason but joy, you broke out
in a run. Blocks later someone you knew turned
a corner and you tried to slow down before he saw
you but it was too late. He asked where you were
going and when you said nowhere, he laughed.
All you wanted to do was run, run and run and run.
You tried again when he left but the feeling
was gone. When you were ten or eleven you were
showering, singing opera songs, making the words
up, belting them out in a terribly off key voice.
Opening the door afterward your brother and sister
were there laughing. All your showers following
that shower have been without song.
Michael Flanagan was born in the Bronx N.Y. and currently lives on a small Island in northern Canada. Poems and stories of his have appeared in many small press periodicals. His full length collection, Days Like These (Luchador Press) is available at select bookstores in both the U.S. and Canada. You can also find it online at Barnes & Noble, as well as Amazon. His collection, A Million Years Gone, won the 2009 Nerve Cowboy Chapbook Award. It is available from Liquid Paper Press.