I watch myself

(someone has to)

an endless rerun

of a canceled sitcom.

(There is nothing better on.)

With each episode the laugh track builds,

until snickers echo guffaw.

I long for the theme music,

the predictable end, a chance to begin

again. I have seen it all before.

I want a commercial to tell me

what I need to be happy.

Everything I say is misunderstood,

as if I am talking in igpay atinlay.

If someone bothers to reply,

it’s like white noise, radio static,

the high buzz of the test pattern,

punctuated by screeching

brakes, the breaking of glass.

On my birthday, I go off

by myself, howl through

the empty night until

there is nothing left

but a mournful wail.

Yesterday was not like this,

it was quiet and made

of silly putty. The sun

was a lemony lollipop.

Cars jostled joyfully along

like bright balloons,

bouncing refugees

from the happy party,

and your face, pressed

warmly against mine,

picked up the colors

of my cartoon.


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