If I Were a Pen
by Bill Glose

If I were a surgeon, slice of my scalpel
would peel punctured skin to expose
shrapnel from explosive rants, create room

for wads of sorrow-filled gauze to stanch
wounds of my own making. If I were
a seamstress, I’d plunge my bobbin

into sand-choked memories of ruined bodies,
sturdy thread reassembling tatters, stitch by stitch
of velvet marrow tugging frayed past

and rough-napped present, pulling tight
their riven seams. And if I were a pen,
a simple, ten-cent Bic, plastic barrel pulsing

with what could have been, I’d spill my blood
on virgin vanilla, knowing not the stain
of regret, rollerball erecting hieroglyphs

in testament to every apology entombed
within my tongue. I’d write poetry until all
my black was spent and shadows fell asleep.

I’d sink into a sinless calm whose mouth
recalls the way I used to smile when stars
came out at night. If only I were a pen.

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