Saturday, June 6, 2009

poem of the day 06.06.09

red ears

in this place
the kids come up to me
and ask me why my ears are red
i don’t know, i say
it gets worse when the adults ask me
they come in and come up
to my desk and say
why are your ears red
the heat, i say
or the cold
a co-worker tells me that she knows
when i’m angry or hot
because my ears get red
this may be true
i don’t know
i never researched it
and i’m not sure
why everyone here is so
fascinated with my red ears
i think it might be because
i’m the only white guy
here most days
maybe black people don’t
see many red ears
but then i think this isn’t true
because when i was a kid
i was mostly
around other white kids
and they often remarked
about my ears being red
but that was years ago
i thought the world
had forgotten about my red ears
but i guess they haven’t
so i can’t
i have to contemplate them again
and notice them when they start to burn
put cold water on them
when i get tired of the questions
hoping they’ll just turn
back to their normal shade
of ugly pale, white
and i’ll be left alone again
but, shit, my ears are red right now
standing here
looking in the bathroom mirror
at my ugly face
my big polish nose
my two baggy eyes
and a tan line that ends before my forehead
my ears are red
and somehow i have to start my day
my ears are red
and they look like two flaming beacons of light
another conversation piece for the masses
on a miserable wednesday
one more fucking thing
for me to worry over
in this world
as we all cascade toward death
and futility.

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