By Michael T. Smith
PROMPT—During Covid-19 ...
I am angry, and I --
am not who I want myself to be. I see my plans crumble like a cookie,
for they were that proverbial cookie --
a sweet temptation,
but only now -- as an adult -- that temptation was put off
because as an adult you can't have a cookie whenever you want. It's not always
a victory to get one.
But this summer was --
would have been --
ah, but would those words not be more of the poison you can dip your vice into,
and wish it would have still been poison. Would. Have.Been.
There necessitates punctuation between it. There is.
rarely a hesitation when speaking about the things that should have been, but now
I am a hesitation.
I am not me. I am angry -- that is all.
I am angry, and I do not like being who I am. I do not like
more than I can list here or even have the care to list here. I am wanting to support the things
that I typically do. My "side" if you will, but now
every side is jagged and all there is is the emptiness of not what was but of
what could have been,
an emptiness that is lacking air, which
I admit I hope I never lack. For --
Michael T. Smith is an Assistant Professor of English who teaches both writing and film courses. He has published over 150 pieces (poetry and prose) in over 80 different journals. He loves to travel.