Exile    poems by Matthew Freeman February 2021

One of Those Days

I thought I was here to say something
and mean something else,
something that my friends, the homeless critics,
could get in a misprision.

But after having been displaced for quite a while
in this Exile Lite,
I can feel God blowing through
the dust. I was shot at
on my way to Starbucks, I was left alone
when Diana took off after
I fell off the ledge of the Masonic Temple
and the ambulance took me to the ER
where they set my wrist under morphine
and I sang my regrets to the nurse, I’ve seen
such beautiful big salmon coming down the river
and then heading out to the ocean
off the coast of Alaska, I’ve walked though reference
up and down Manhattan in twelve degrees
with only a windbreaker
and split a white fish sandwich with a cop,
and oh, my teachers were with me when the radio
said to go to the hospital and I had to take Haldol
and every bit of this was burned out of me and stale.

It’s true I don’t want to scrawl across the heavens anymore.
Now I can sit calmly at the bar with my Diet Coke
while some social worker asks if those days feel
like a dream. “Everything’s a dream,” I say.

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