The Year I Went Without Being a Teen Idol Outside, it was the pink of a kitten’s yawn. A wink. Or the skin, behind my knee, where I must have been bitten by something. Your snores tried to reason with me. Tried to mess with my well-known ideas on holding a note, tone. But, then again, whose tunes will not one day be looked at as my own? So, I’ve recently taken up acting. Like I factor. Like I’m the first track on an album labeled “If You Think This is Fun...” Shit, it’s been months since I’ve charted. Been scored more than 3 hearts or 4 unicorns. Anything sparkly at all. Since I’ve led myself in a sing-along. Strung out around a campfire. Or welled up from this kinship with the sun. Luckily, my cat is still smitten. Blinking heavily. As if it’s timing is off. From wearing mittens 2 sizes too small. Still imagines I’m dancing when in reality I’m shaking. Cashing in on the side where my desire has staged its own death. I’d rather nobody watch me. Rather than sit, with the unattached, in my chat room. There’s almost too little to slam. To remaster. For there are things to be seen to. And things you ask for an account of, a rebate. That you keep tabbed for later. When the meds have determined it safe. To rename the old phase. Once, a stranger remarked, you look like you’ve been hit by a truck. And I had. Leaving me with a tree in the front seat. And this veil that I lower with chains. See now, the pink, has a yellowy aura. Like some sickly saint kissed into the start of a bruise, then the ether. And this red, narrowly red, at its center. Worn out from the routines. And the touring. The unforgivable publicity shots. And the agent always beginning each sentence with. “So, here is the rub.”
-- Mark DeCarteret's work has appeared in over 500 literary reviews.