There Are No Style Points in the Dark by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

No one jumps up in bed,
this is NOT popular gymnastics,
there are no style points in the dark,
my mouth so dry and dehydrated
that the throat cracks and bleeds into
the mouth, I will be largely unable to speak
for the next two days, a couple words here or there,
hunched over the sink, eyes bloodshot and thick with crust;
it is a slow stumble at best, a balance thing
on legs that have failed me many times before,
weak in the ankles much more than the knees,
put in braces as a child like Lautrec to cure
the curved deformity, everything turning in on itself –
the oxygen tent around that little bed helping me breathe
so that I have made it to the middle ages
with this wailing blunt trip hammer
of a mind.

© 2020 Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

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Bio:

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, BlogNostics, The New York Quarterly, The Rye Whiskey Review, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

 

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