top of page


my body is not my body

it’s someone else’s

he is old, much older than i am

the skin on his legs and upper arms

covering places where muscles used to be

is crinkled like tissue paper

the kind party surprises were wrapped in

but stretched thin so that some

of the veins show through


i forget the right name for those surprises


yesterday he told a hoary joke

to my daughter who must

have heard it a hundred times

but laughed politely

i was so embarrassed


i forget the point of this joke

as i forget a lot of names

there’s someplace where he keeps them

a drawer perhaps without a handle

one where the handle comes off when you

try to pull it open and you can only guess

what’s inside, you’re usually wrong

thinking it starts with an ‘m’ or a ‘d’


yesterday he looked at me in the

bathroom mirror but didn’t recognize me,

it’s strange here inside this drawer

bumping into people in the darkness

who touch fingers to their lips as if to say

we know something you don’t


until the light goes on

and you recognize them

so you laugh politely with her

and she calls you daddy and

when she leaves she gives you a hug

you know it’s for real

and you could die of happiness

To Go Back To
Hit your browser's

© Johnmichael Simon



bottom of page