The Lark
Published in

The Lark

Nothing to See Here

Lark poetry competition

Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

Nothing is wrong with you —
You are a glassine harbor on a windless day.

You are the far side of wrong’s coin, called —
No, ‘right’ is not a fit —
Ah! So like you to draw a blank.

Now splurge and declare the wrong.
Argue the case for argument’s sake; open with the

What is wrong with you?

Crack open the case. Crack, crack,
ignore the jagged seams splitting apart, and just ask,

Who is asking?

Not who; you. Events slip
sideways, slip north, south, east west —
vague gestures you never decipher, as
thin thready translucent veins on your eyeballs slip also and
glide gracefully across the curve,
like they have a right to be there, but are under
no obligation to tell you why.

You are yet a walking column of

Say there is nothing wrong with you.

Tell everyone. Anyone. Just one.

Speak, say, breathe.

Isn’t that so? Conjure your own reality.
Everybody does; why not you?

Obfuscation is the bitcoin of the day.
Value unknown, yet treasured
beyond reason.

And what’s wrong with that? What?
What’s wrong with you?

Nothing is wrong with you just as nothing is wrong with
an amoeba. Existence is its own reward.

Form following function is
its own reward.

The amoeba and its cytoplasmic pseudopods, clever shape-shifters.
Free living. Free loving. Ah, Little Proteus. Faultless to a fault.
Sheer perfection.

Nothing wrong here. Move along.

Amoebas have not yet colonized the thready veins on your eyeballs.
Proof that nothing is wrong with you.

Or have they?

If you knew more than you know now, you would know this much.
And perhaps that is what is wrong with you: Not knowing.
All that slipping and sliding — the doors of perception
eluding you, moment by moment.

Slammed in your face, those doors stare you down:
This is what’s wrong with you.

Nothing is wrong with you. Make it so.

Go underground. Rebel in silence.

Become the slipping, sliding thing.

Or fade to nearly not quite nothing, like thready eyeball veins,
still millions of microns thicker than an amoeba.

The faultless amoeba.

But you: you are clumsy, still,
despite efforts to curb the blunders, the blurts.
Fading being not your strong suit.

Oh, the doors! Didn’t they let you in?

The doors of perception stand wide open,
so wide apart you cannot see from one door to the other,
and since nothing is wrong with you, then a few eons spent
marching from one door to the other,
gauging where the opening gapes, so you may walk through,
well, nothing simpler than.

Self-pity is truly the ugliest.

What will the ancestors say?
Nothing is wrong with you, or them, or anyone, ever.
Everybody gets through it, one way or another. Why judge?

Though nothing is wrong with you, couldn’t possibly be —
the notion persists like an earworm, thrumming, jiggling
across your thready eyeballs. The amoebas take charge,
force-marching the earworm into your ear canals, where
a fire hose with a wide-open spigot saturates you with the notion;
your pores absorb endless gallons of wrong punch, and there is no way to catch your breath.

You are drunk on it:

Maybe you are wrongness itself —

The ultimate proof of an unsolved theorem, which goes:
If you are wrongness itself — a statement we must accept as true —
Then nothing is wrong with you because you are the thing itself.


Get over yourself. There is nothing wrong with you
but for your daily efforts to climb out of your skin in a futile attempt
to avoid who you are and will never be.

There is nothing wrong with you, except everything.
And the doors of perception remain shut tight to the likes of you.



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Amy L. Bernstein

Amy L. Bernstein


I write stories that let you feel and make you think. Fiction, essays, poems. Whatever the moment — or zeitgeist — requires. More at