Count Your Blessings
Sneer, counting the moments
touched by joy, the ones
currently marching like mad
across your front lawn.
You clearly see them for what
they are—frauds, counterfeit, foolish
impostors, because, let’s be real,
no way in hell do you deserve
what brushed by with its wing.
That random smile? A fluke.
He simply misplaced his glasses.
That ‘thank you’ on the subway?
A formal trade in goods, never mind
her jolt of surprise that lasted
one awkward second too long.
Let’s not even mention the fake
communal concern when you ran
into that pole in the grocery aisle.
People alter their truth
for your benefit all the time.
You’re that important. They jam
your radar on purpose,
the tired brain gurgling static
over a loudspeaker: no good,
never was and couldn’t,
possibly, ever. Listen to me.
Do what you do, but better.
You’ve got the taser,
the handcuffs, the baton. No one
is taking pictures. This
is your play yard. You’re God,
dammit, or something close enough.
Tackle them to the ground, spit,
curse, punch to hear the crunch
of cartilage. Chain them side
by side, those trespassers, wolves
in sheep’s clothing, harbingers
of false hope. Throw them
into the back of a black van,
send them off to a frozen gulag
where no one, not even you,
can ever thank them in return.
Don’t worry, they always
come back. You’ll count again.
First published in The American Journal of Poetry, Volume Six, January 1, 2019