flatworm

justanumber

Age is just a number
but at this number
I no longer feel comfortable
carrying a stupid
little fabric lunch box,
if I ever did.

Now I’ll eat only flat stuff
so I can secret my lunch
in my shoulder bag;
flatbreads, mashed bananas
flatworms, and so on.
I’ll have to develop
a taste for flatworms
but the epoch demands it.

I should have a rolltop desk
so stuffed with documentation
visitors who see it
are moved.
A desk to match
my tastefully graying temples,
my lightly shaved
George Michael beard,
my gravel drive.

Instead of a rolltop
I have a bus;
an unmentionable sorrow
I can’t help but mention.
This morning the glaring bald guy
with the fist full
of tattered papers
passed all the open seats
to squeeze in next to me.
There he began
his ritual bug-eyed
spraying consumptive cough.
eh-haagh-haagh-haagh!
eh-haagh-haagh-haagh-haagh-haaaaaaagggh!!
And me there,
refusing to alter expression, stoic
but for the little fabric
lunchbox at my feet.

How will I develop the taste for flatworms
which my new persona requires?
The same way one gets to
Carnegie hall.
Practice.

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