Poem of the Week

Teletherapy

Brian Tierney

The light of that

jet, overhead, is my mind I’m seeing so scintillant, unreachable.
I am never where my body is.
The first law of dreaming is what isn’t here

isn’t me; the second law is to show you what I see
is to show you how I feel: aluminum
siding the color of my skin
enwrapping the duplex where I lived, as a boy, by the ruins of a bridge

for what could not be united—
The message is frail.
When I check my phone

to remember I exist and I shake it and shake it I shake
myself, as if to clear the Etch A Sketch
of my face. If I’m dead inside

how would I know, how
would a bulb
check its own filament.

Brian Tierney is the author of Rise and Float, winner of the 2021 Jake Adam York Prize. His poems and prose have appeared in Paris Review, New England Review, Kenyon Review, and other publications. He lives in Oakland, CA, and teaches poetry at The Writing Salon.
Originally published:
October 20, 2021

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