What is it that I have?

I have nothing, really,
if one counts somethings as one counts apples
plumping in a tree or pine cones in the outdoor slippers or
little birdie heads that pop up and down on nests
made of the dog hair
brushed out of Lila this morning on the back porch;
as if something is something that simply fits
and I, because I’m an I not a me, must agree.
I’ve got none of those somethings.

I’ve got no
desire for those
sorts of somethings.

What is it that I have? I have nothing, really,
I’ve got none of the electric diamond carpet cloaks
they sell in the corner shops these days the ones with
the tall windows the kind without curtains the shops
with bright fluorescents and plugged-in fully-charged employee commission teeth.
I’ve got none of the flower tea pots used for sticking
all sorts of compost biodegradable rubbish intended
to be stuffed in plastic sacks and sent out
as jewelry to the waves.

I don’t know, fully, how to describe
exactly, what those somethings are that I have,
you see, because it’s complicated, eh?,
sort of tricky.

I don’t really want to describe them
because I can already see the frosty knitted brows
and shriveled sideways lips that will cross themselves silly.

What is it that I have?
Well.
You’re persistent.
It’s tricky, though.
But.
I’ll give it a go.

I’ve got a thousand butterflies singing in the shower
all at the same time but three are off pitch
and you definitely notice. I’ve got glow worms
budding from nameless wombs and charging
toll tax but never complaining because what might that
solve anyways. I’ve got fourteen toes on my left arm
and they’ve all got taste buds which makes playing
Twister rather intimate. I’ve got two smiles going on
at the exact same time while my ears
keep asking for a play date and I think I’ve grown
taller in the last twenty-two years. I’ve got seven names
in forty-two different languages fifteen ways to
exercise my right-hand index finger and
seventy-two-thousand alternatives
for the word “blue”. I’ve got a habit of sleeping
in headstand position which lets my dreams go fishing
in circulating bloodstreams and dance themselves silly
with oscillating balloon animals. I’ve got a stomach pain
when I’ve eaten too much peanut butter but
it’s not the nuts fault I’m weak and should get stronger,
really, that’s on me that one. I’ve got an ardor for
marionette monks with addiction cases and cases of
seasonal measles because of serial daddy issues.
I’ve got a formulated plan on how to save the world
featuring jelly belly toilet paper and vegetarian
incantations. I’ve got three moves left in this
game of chess before I can checkmate the
knight and we can call it a draw. I’ve suddenly got
a strong desire to light a fire to stem
off this chill it takes more than a sweater and a pair
of warm socks to fight this one I see.

So what do I have? What is it that I’ve got?
No apples no pine cones no baby bird
heads Lila hasn’t been brushed it’s been an age
it doesn’t simply fit I’m a me not an I so I don’t
have to always agree.

And the truth of it all:
I’ve got such a strong
preference for my
sorts of somethings.


The reader brings his or her own experience to the poem and creates meaning. Here is my experience.

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