shame on me
this is a poem about shame.
this is a poem about unwelcome recollection.
this is a poem about the stupid thing i said last week,
the comment on facebook,
the failed attempt at twitter clever.
this is poem about being able to hear
the muffled groan, and see the head shake of pity
from an english major, as this poem is read
without needing an actual english major.
this is a poem about remembering things that you have done
and feeling as if, at that very moment,
video tapes of that action are playing on every tv in america,
and on the jumbotrons in every sporting arena,
in slow motion, with a color commentator
who explains where this shameful act fits in the history of shame
this is a poem about trying not to think of the things
that trigger the desire to hide in a closet
or to fold up on myself until i am so small that i am invisible.
television, video games, and books i have already read
all work pretty well.
this is a poem about keeping neatly filed
images of the worst that you are capable of
so that every time someone says something nice,
or any time it starts to look like maybe
you might turn out ok
you have evidence for the veiled threat
that if they knew everything ...
( and the sentence is never completed, leaving
the consequences to the imagination )
this is even a poem about feeling disqualified
to say anything about shame, my sins being so trivial,
and then wondering what kind of human being
would call those things trivial.
this is a poem wondering how the rest of you handle this.
do you just not have the blackmailing voice,
did you never do something really stupid and wrong?
this is a poem about me.