Poetry 2014 / Volume 45

Stop Hitting Yourself — Anton Jones

Tour the world through
the inside of my old shoes,
unworn since the crutch of youth
but dusted off to take
a dismal glimpse of a past repressed
by my unwillingness to please my frumpy self.

Take a step into the mirror,
as the cold glass fondles my memory
I laugh because it is inappropriate.
I chuckle watching my violent obtuseness
lay utter waste to my ravaged dreams–
childhood graffiti etched into a sidewalk,
a sidewalk made marble by nostalgic doodles of master plans.

30 shekels of silver
to shake hands with my former self
with the hand I just used to wipe.
30 shekels of silver
to kick him in the scrotum
before he makes more mistakes

We both grin,
the threshold before loading our fists.
I break the dusty mirror
I burn my old shoes
laughing hard enough to choke on my pity
knowing I shall soon be paid a visit
from a slightly older man
touched by an evasive mirror
while wearing my new shoes.
Love every second of my frailty
spent giving that older man
a reason to come at me
with fiery eyes and a Louisville Slugger.

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