You’d long filled a file tabbed “Reality”
with reports of any you’d found,
only events deemed earthbound,
with no attribution to deity;
you’d lived life beyond most norms
of social convention,
meeting the challenge of restrictive forms
though hinting at mortal rendition,
like a scorpion challenged
by a ring of fire, jabbing himself
with his own stinger, taking
his own life, his only reality.
George Held’s work has appeared in, among other periodicals, Blue Unicorn, Spring, Transference, and Two Cities Review and has received eleven Pushcart Prize nominations. Among his books is the poetry chapbook Second Sight (2019); his next book, The Lucky Boy (2022), collects nine of his short stories.