Different.
The world is now a cave in my eyes, a focal length so short
every image is processed with black rings. I can see through
my window, though my neck flexes full might to bring this

massive head sunward, a man struggling to drag and heave his
garbage cans to the front of his drive and a small, nearly indiscernible
reflection of myself in the glass. The man and I are different.

I let the newness swell. I touch the hills of my skin—hills coarse
as bugbeared bare feet that have no shoes for comfort, no housing
warmth. I have no epidermal shelter. I'm inside out. I'm a myth.

I feel both righteous and abominable—Jekyll and Hyde, hiding
malalignments of soul, of heart, of mind held in the person on
the previous night before temple was set to pillow and darkness

engulfed in dreamscape—I am undoubtedly new. I don't know
if I should blame you, blame me, blame God, or blame my parents,
but I woke up as a canker sore on the Universe's mouth.

At the toilet I try to piss, but hit the wall because my back helixes
from skull to pelvis and one arm tugs me down like a barbell plate.
I liquidize eggs, bacon, and toast for breakfast, slurping through a

bendy straw. I'm kaput, broken, twisted. My clothes don't fit. I can't go
outside. I can't be seen with people. I throw my cellphone at the wall
and sit in the corner of my room. I cry and moan and beg a train horn's

dying breath as it passes horizon. How does one fix ugly? How does one
cure "but he's got a heart of gold" syndrome? No makeup can cover this mask.
No maternal shoulder can ease this damnable spar with the world at large.

I am on fire, a thing worth ogling. I will walk through the streets like
a naked man missing shame. I will make myself enormous in city square,
howling a trunking wail off the buildings on midday shift. The people

will know my name and why I matter. Or I will go back to bed, enter that
swirling onslaught of OFF, and hope this nightmare ends as easily as it began.

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