A side effect of the side effects, and a bone-cold day.
The aunt who was more than an aunt came closer
And asked, You alright? Well that’s not you.
Not the guy I know. Stop fretting, let’s talk. Nobody else
Can tell your story. WHO has that? And me, she said,
What do I want? Look me in the face. OK. I do and
Sit and find out she’s been sick for six months.
Why tell? she said. Anyway I’m telling you now:
My body hurts like hell, but my brain is fine.
My appetite is amazing. I’M STILL ME. Do me a favor
And sit for another min., we don’t have to talk so much.
You’re hooked with the phone and the everything else.
Unplug. Leave it HOME, wherever that is.
When you’re doing the dishes: DO the dishes.
Tunneling? Dig the tunnel. Telling a story, tell it to ME.
There’s no secret what we need.
Thomas Devaney is a poet and the author of You Are the Battery (Black Square Editions, 2019) and Getting to Philadelphia (Hanging Loose Press, 2019). He is the producer and co-director the documentary The Bicentennial in Philadelphia (slated for 2020). His work is featured in Best American Poetry 2019, and recently, his poem “The Blue Stoop” inspired a group of writers to name their literary hub Blue Stoop: A Home for Philly Writers.