Collective Unrest

 

AM I STILL HERE?

October 17, 2018

Everyday my Aunt Catherine,
who outlived the rest of the family,
would wake up and say
“Am I still here?”
Disappointed, she made tea,
fed her bird, and let the light in.

I thought man, she is a downer.
Why can’t she cheer up?
I had many empty thoughts.
Now I get up and it’s me saying
“Am I still here?”

I want to be here—as I pour
my morning coffee I remember
that millions of people,
this very day,
want to see me dead. I’m gay.
That’s all it takes.
Bullet churches keep firing at me.
Politicians plan “accidents” for me.
Millions. No guilt. After all,
God loads their weapon.

My day begins. I go to work. Sometimes,
even while filling out a form,
it hits me that
I may not get home at all.

 

Kenneth Pobo had a book of ekphrastic poems published in 2017 by Circling Rivers called Loplop in a Red City. Forthcoming from Clare Songbirds Publishing House is a book of his prose poems called The Antlantis Hit Parade. He began writing poetry in 1970 under the influence of “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James and the Shondells.

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