This is my ring toe, if a toe was meant to wear a ring. Blistered and duct-taped, sock-worn and red.
This is my heel, rubbed raw. This is my shin, splintered and addicted to Aleve. This is my knee’s rhythmic pop.
This is my jammed finger, my narrow wrist, my right forearm, my blue veins. This is my ribcage. This is my bad posture.
These are my black shoes, black socks, black pants, black shirts. This is my uniform. This is the part-time wake I’m casually dressed for.
This is only a test.
This is my nose running, throat scratching, head pounding. This is my pocketfull of singles, my envelope of receipts, my spreadsheet of “job-related” expenses. This is a VH1 show about my Fabulous Lifestyle.
This is my day job. This is my night job.
This is the trip I say that I’m taking. This is the trust fund that’s funding it.
This is my phonebook of numbers I do not feel comfortable calling. This is the email I do not feel like returning. These are my backlogged correspondences. These are my friends, and they are there no matter what. This is me, somewhere else.
This is my haircut. Screwed up.
This is my notebook, bolt-locked and snow white. Crossed-out, revised, cussed-out, crumpled, canned, revived. These are my new songs.
This is my guitar. This is my guitar out of tune.
This is my car, pollen green and birdcrap brown, mobile storage running on fumes.
This is the apartment I stopped living in a while ago. This is the baseball season I already wish was over.
This is the backroad to the grocery store. This is where I go when I need to go somewhere. These are the bottles of juice I buy at the grocery store once I’m there to justify the trip. This is the graveyard shift grocer who knows me as ” The Juice Guy.”
This is only a test.
This is the book I’ve been reading for the last four months. This is the page I’ve been reading for the last four months.
This is a new song on a new album by a band from here. This is what I listen to when I need to remember where I’d like to be.
This is my college diploma asleep in the bullpen.
This is the worst hour of the night, after today and before tomorrow. This is a gray and lukewarm morning.
This is my alarm’s beep, my bed-head, my walk to the bathroom. This is the only dream I have, on constant repeat.
This is my rear. This is the world’s bootprint.
This is a test. This is only a test.