Sunday, March 16, 2008


When I was six
I dreamt I was running around a basketball court.
I turned and smashed into
this kid's head with my own.

And woke up.

When I was eight and warming-up for a basketball game,
I caught a pass and moved to shoot, only to
ram into Scottie Pettit's forehead,
His brow slanted my
nose a few degrees to the right.

God is a smart-ass.

It was winter, just before Christmas,
and I wore a nose cast.
Neighborhood kids nicknamed me Aardvark
My music teacher pointed me
out to everyone at the Christmas concert
touted my bravery for coming out to sing
despite my temporary deformity.

The second break was
more demeaning.
(on a purely egotistic level)

I was on crutches going on three weeks.
I was thirteen.
There was no dream to warn me.

I had received a but-good razz from
the principal
how I should be supporting my team instead of
flirting with the here-for-just-the-night girls under
the bleachers.

Half-way to the top of the stairs,
my crutches gave way to air, and
my nose found the corner of a step.
I was Aardvark for another six weeks.
It's the reason
I have this enormous bulge
on the bridge of my nose.

Gives me character, they say.
Character is good for you, they say.
Keeps you in your own league they say.

I loathe my character.

The nice guy seems
to keep me in a circle of friends;
the nice guy keeps me from
getting mad when I should;
the nice guy lets people have their
way with me, when normally
I'd think of wringing their necks and
hanging their skins to dry on my balcony.

I loathe my character.

It keeps me down
under foot of
tyrants big and tiny
keeps me under
wraps behind protective coatings of
pleases and thank-yous
puts me in
the comparative position of Kunta Kinte.
(except with twentieth century manners and paler skin)

I pray for a larger balcony.

(and sometimes for a bigger set of testicles)
Creative Commons License
Glass by Michael W. Hyde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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