There were times when I spoke
out of the wrong side of my mouth.
I didn’t mean to.
It just came out that way.
I was going along fine,
delivering some disquisition
on a literary theme,
when, suddenly, the wrong side of my mouth
I tried to explain: “This isn’t me!
It’s not what I mean!”
But it came out garbled.
The wrong side of my mouth said,
“This is the truth!”
With my tail between my legs,
holding my head in my hands,
I retreated amidst a chorus of jeers.
The wrong side of my mouth shot back:
“Cretins! Neanderthals! Fuck-offs!”
“You can’t say that in polite company,”
I berated the wrong side of my mouth.
“I have my reputation to–”
“Fuck you!” said the wrong side of my mouth.
I have been wandering the byways now
for 50 years. …
I am the Vietnam vet asking for spare change.
I am the old woman who lost her babies.
I am the man on the bus who cries for no reason.
The wrong side of my mouth
hooks up with the corner of my eye.
A ghost of a chance joins them.
Fire! Fire everywhere!