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Question of the Day

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Who are you?

A) a loving person
B) a terrible person
C) an apathetic person

flash back to the #7 Flushing Meadows train headed to Shea Stadium
people crammed in the subway like sardines in a can
a young girl with dirty blonde curls, hazel eyes, a few missing teeth
not young enough to be carried by her father
cries into his shoulder cause she's tired, and doesn't want to stand
I sit complacently in my seat and adjust my headphones
pretending to be immersed in Jack Johnson
as if I was incapable of adequately hearing their conversation
"Daddy, my legs hurt!"
"It's only for a couple more minutes honey."

flash forward to the dingy bathroom in the nurse's office
brown walls stained with profanities
penciled in by kids who felt as trapped as I
Quaker oats granola bar pieces from deep inside
sprawled in the sink
spoiled chocolate molecules fill the air
convoluted noises coming from my body as it wrestles against gravity
a knock on the door
"Are you okay honey?"

flash back to the hospital
scalpels, blood, and depressed patients
IV needle dripping life sustaining liquid into my cells
anesthesia blinding my senses
half sane conversations with the ortho nurse

flash forward to my friend's sweet sixteen
wondering what I'm doing in a red dress
shuffling amongst a galore of candles
despite the fact that I absolutely abhor mainstream



flash back to preschool
sitting contently in the sandbox with Griffin and Chris
the atypical 3 Musketeers in action
scooping sand in shovels and dumping
heaps on our poor victims
who scream as the summer sprinkles fall
onto their frilly flocks
and interrupt their shrill chorus
of "Bye, Bye, Bye"

flash forward to Stop and Shop
old woman with graying hair
attempting to carry grocery bags
filled with ketchup bottles,
lone lemon lime Gatorades,
and pound cake
"Ma'am, do you need help with those bags?"

flash back to the hospital
volunteering at 3 South, a lonely telemetry ward
following the routine
offering applesauce to a patient
welcomed by the pungent smell of urine
silence fills the room
as I realize he recently underwent a tracheostomy
he shamefully points to the source of the foul order
I hurriedly change the container attached to his catheter

flash forward to English class
deciphering the symbolism
of the damning stigma on Hester Prynne's chest:
mankind perceives through" the colored and distorted,
magnifying medium of its imagination"
judging reveals more about the judger
than the one being judged

flash back to 6th grade
ridiculing the girl with the spiky hair
for making her own jewelry
pointing to the awkward glass beads
that make a rainbow on her wrist
whispering of the dangling, mismatched buttons
that adorn her ears

flash forward to today
writing this poem in the hopes
of discovering some philosophical profound truth
about my identity
who am I?
am I the me of yesterday, today, or tomorrow?
am I damned to vacillate between
the factitious facades time concocts?
or am I none of the above?



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