everyone else

Photo by Farhan Siddicq on Unsplash

what kind of snapped plastic-spoon
comfort
can I draw from the idea
that everyone feels this way at some point:

a stranger sleeps on my side of the bed
eats the banana I was saving for breakfast
and a stranger
times his drive to work
so that he arrives exactly when I would
and we both take that mile-deep breath
before we cross the threshold,
getting ready to fake it
so good

is it really of comfort
to know everyone else experiences this?

this guy’s an ocean of salt
he’s a slug
he’s a life-saving medical breakthrough
and a sign for hot cinnamon donuts
he’s the kind of perfect coffee
found in travel brochures only
he’s undiscovered gold
he’s rat-shit
he’s insightful questions on TV
and he’s the pocket-lint of every revolutionary
imprisoned, maybe
he’s bleeding from every orifice too
doing it on my behalf
because I’ve asked him to
once upon a time
somewhere back there 
then 
when
I made a choice between
the soft-pillow-smile of the optimist
and survival

and that me, the sweet one, by god I’m sorry
we all know I let you down, buddy

but check out the deck of cards
left on the outdoor setting, nice green plants
there
to go with the after-image
of cigarette smoke 
pole-dancing
up the umbrella
and yeah, the deck’s stacked
against us

because they always are 
but this new, other me
this joker
said he’ll play for us
and says he’ll win too, claims he can keep our heads above water
but we aren’t allow to play even a single hand
from now on

that’s the rule
that’s his deal, he said and so we have to come up 
with something soon or let him play
and holy shit 
but how can I let him be the one to wake up
in my bed tomorrow?

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