Charles D. J. Case is a writer, husband, father of five, and recovering attorney living in East Aurora, New York. His poetry has been published in small press, and he has been a featured reader at several Western New York reading series. His columns on politics have been published in newspapers in the Finger Lakes and the Buffalo News.

1 poem by Charles D.J. Case

THE SIDEWALK AND THE FISHBOWL

I have a confession. There is a sidewalk
under my tongue. I have two more confessions,
but they are inadvertent to the first, which
everyone knows, but nobody admits, is how
our lies pile up. My second confession
is that I see two of you. Each on top of the other.
God, that could be someone’s fantasy, but
it’s not like that anymore. The lines separating
you are clear. What I’ve made of you, and
what you are, like your confession that should
have come before mine, but instead came
as a secret from an apologetic friend who patted
my hand and waited for me to say a profound word
or two. But I just uttered a stupid “thank you”
as if someone had just given me directions
to a museum with art I’d have to pretend
to understand. Sometimes I realize we live
in a fishbowl. I can hear the echo, tap
the glass. I run around the edge mouthing silent
questions to you, begging you to tell me
he didn’t mean anything. But I can only hold
my breath for so long, and the sidewalk
won’t listen to reason. So now all I do is sit
here beneath the castle and think of the two of you
entwined. I can’t look away. I clutch the image
desperately, awestruck at how unfamiliar
my own house feels. But mostly, I look up
and watch the bubbles rise and bump off your skin
until they slide around you and float
to the surface.

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