failing the man i used to be
I was a young man in Modesto. I was ill every winter. And every summer. And all seasons in between. I hurt my lungs, I hurt my ribs, I hurt my eyes. Long nights under the lightbulbs of the paper factory. A diet of black coffee and vending machine food. My ghost was so restless inside me. Long nights off from work. I walked my lungs to the edge of town. I carried a stolen flower into the dark. I left it in the orchard. Where the flowers glow at night. I walked back into town. I carried a poem to my notebook. I left it in the notebook. Where poems glow at night. I slept alone. As I always would. Dreams escaped from my head, from my stiff sheets. Like pilots ejecting from crashing jets. And there was something about bright, Sunday mornings that always made me want to cough hard and die.