I'm Not a Robot

A man I had just met offered me some advice: “Go fuck yourself.” So I unzipped. The police interrupted before I could finish. You can become that easily the kind of person you never wanted to be, pale and disturbed, a suspect with an ax, probably some people from the neighborhood already dead, another sitting on the curb being consoled by a friend who is screaming for help.


I looked down and saw blood drips on the floor and stairs. Everything became blurred. Men in dark glasses stopped anyone from leaving the building who displayed the willful expression of a would-be martyr. All I was trying to do was go home. They laughed and told me not to do it again. I probably won’t make a complaint, but I don’t like it. There are so many places where a person can get lost and not even realize it.


We have very little control over what we hear or how we’re greeted. Someone on the bus says something about nightmare bacteria. There’s in us some stuff I wish there wasn’t. I don’t want to further burden you with the question, “Where do I go?” If there are clues, they’re clues that haven’t yet crystallized. It’s like I’m the detective in the movie who leafs forlornly through photographs of a crime scene. Meanwhile, the number of crimes just continues to rise.



Howie Good

Howie Good is the author of more than a dozen poetry collections, including most recently The Death Row Shuffle (Finishing Line Press), The Trouble with Being Born (Ethel Micro Press), and Gunmetal Sky (Thirty West Publishing).


Edited for Unlikely by dan raphael, Prose Editor
Last revised on Monday, July 2, 2018 - 11:34