The Store Manager

When the body decides it’s time to shut down,
it shuts down.  I can sleep fifteen hours straight
yet still wake with dead hands and feet

from the stubborn effects of how my blood 
stopped handling sugars well
some unclear number of years ago.  My brain’s

got more than a few holes in it from pure age
and all those drugs and all those depressions,
all those whipsawing snaps from high to low;

I can’t even speak to the ears failing, the eyes failing,
how weak I seem even compared to how weak I’ve always been,
how unsteady I am when facing up to where I’m going

and how fast I’m getting there. Waking up now
I feel like…a store manager.  Like I’m in for the early shift, 
walking from door to door, opening one after another —

or rather, trying to open all the doors and finding
the once reliable keys aren’t working or 
are even missing from the ring

where they’ve always been. I can run the place
just fine with what’s left but all day long
I’m wondering: what happened?  Where

are those damned keys? Stolen, lost,
or am I making them up and they never existed?
It’s enough to make me think about quitting.  Enough

to make me think about
fifteen more hours of sleep — the only time
I can’t feel. The only time I feel good.

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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