G Witteveen CC
Please allow me to approach, groveling
like perverted Peter Lorre in Fritz Lang’s “M,”
and pleading You don’t know what it’s like to be me!
before an indifferent jury of thieves.
Though you, unlike them, may feel your disgust
reversed to unwelcome contingent sympathy.
In life’s wayward structure, as you will find,
many unnerving and/or willful things obtain,
but we are sentenced to senesce and die--
this fate, as in the film, foreordained.
Do you recall Ray Hickey, how he snorted
so much coke he stayed awake for six days
straight through hailstorm and flood
and two cartons of cigarettes and several
evidently inefficacious prayers related
to his mother’s pilgrimage to Medjugorje?
And still nothing added on the back end.
If anything, the reverse: dead at age 32.
Though, to be fair, he had no more time
coming to him than any other starving beast
mewling for its dinner at the kitchen door.
Every day I’m alive is as close as I want
to come to death. In the house across the way,
the lights are on and the happy family
is eating its Christmas turkey. In truth,
when you die you’re dead. In some
nostalgic future, I envy you your youth.
Jeremy Freedman lives in in New York City, where he writes poems and takes photographs. His poems have been published in 2 Bridges Review, Dispatches from the Poetry Wars, Queen Mob’s, Pioneertown, Otoliths, and elsewhere. He is the author of the chapbook “Apophenia” (Finishing Line Press 2017) and the editor of O! Negative Poetry Review. His photographs have been exhibited in Europe and the United States and have been featured in numerous journals. More work can be seen at jfreenyc.com and on Instagram @jfreenyc.
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