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The Doppelganger Confessions


By Brett Clay Miller


Copyright 2018 Brett Clay Miller




For my Poetry Pals--Amelia, Laura and Shana.

There are no words.

Contents


Bone Density

Analogy in B Minor

The Sins of our Fathers

The Tardy Wordsmith

The Dark Side of Gentrification

The Spirit of '76

An Arranged Marriage

An Alternative to the Alternative

The Tenure of Distance

Stay-at-Home Madonna / Witness

Seventeen Days

Still

Scavenger Hunt

Namesake

DeWitt's Legacy

Quitting the Green Room

Inheritance

The Running Man

What Happens on Monday Nights

A Loss for Words

Ditching Luke

Houseguests

It Always Comes Down to Hue

Leash

Rainy Season

See You on the 31st

Semantics

Allegory Lies Bedridden

Thirty-Year Pin

This is How I Say Hello

Ruminant Blues

Resurrections from Home

Estranged

Parenthetical Protest

The Etiquette of Hats

Somewhere in St. Louis

Oblivious

The Vernacular of Alice

Bunker

No Idols Before Me

Not a Victim

Shaking the Dust from my Feet

Every Good Analogy

Here / Not Here

Bone Density


I am surrounded


by men whose younger selves poke out around the edges,

ill-contained by khakis and polo,

whose mid-life bug-outs resolve each day

in time for the 5:25 train;


by women who do not comprehend their own beauty,

or know it all too well,

who delight in scheduling something

for the simple pleasure of skipping it;


by domesticated beasts in absurd costumes

that do little to disguise their true nature;


by the cacophony of their combined self-talk.


To transcend these personalities

(and their respective genitalia),

I imagine them as fully-animated skeletons,

virtually indistinguishable from one another

(except for that troublesome pelvis bone).


The problem is that a skeleton cannot pick its nose;

cannot flip its hair or wear earrings;

cannot make raspberry noises.


Which is not at all humerus.

Analogy in B Minor


My ears aspire to be a mouth,

gulping quarter notes like sedatives,

washing them down from receptacles

of the familiar and the dead.


Each day requires its own anthem,

that song will not languish in my throat.


It comes to me for no reason at all,

issuing from grocery store speakers

with a too-bright sentimentality,

nudging me sideways into a melancholy

that could occur only in the cereal aisle.


It comes to me in the form of a vintage Dodge,

well-engineered and glorious to behold,

the exact model that saved/ruined my life

(it just won't go in reverse, and mine was blue).


It comes to me over the chapped lips of children

who shouldn't know the tune

but for a fluke of pop culture

and a consequence of parentage.


Not every measure is a keepsake,


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