Brian Rihlmann: “And I Call Myself A Poet”




And I Call Myself A Poet

if you have a lot of online friends,
eventually you reach a point
where every day, it seems
someone’s waiting on results—
a biopsy or blood test
a mammogram
a nasal swab
while someone else
receives them
and yet another dies
mothers, fathers
sometimes teenagers
sometimes younger

and those left behind
show us all their red, raw,
angry, sad amputation scars
as we scramble for the right words
but there’s nothing there—
no right words
nothing but cliches
teary-eyed emoticons
and pixilated hearts

I stare at this carnage
a confused and helpless child
my fingertips hover
above the pale glow
of this flat earth screen
like a rescue helicopter
without a rope



About the Author: Brian Rihlmann was born in New Jersey and currently resides in Reno, Nevada. He writes free verse poetry, and has been published in The Rye Whiskey Review, Slipstream, Chiron Review, The Main Street Rag and others. His latest poetry collection, “Night At My Throat” (2020) was published by Pony One Dog Press.


More By Brian Rihlmann:

The Whole Point of the Game

Unknown Soldiers



Image Credit: Chase Dimock “Crescent City Driftwood” (2020)

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