When I Turned Two

We are constantly players in lotteries

whether we know it or not.
Genetics scramble our codes and markers

til we end up winners of
that odd rare disease or other.
Nameless faces in strangers’
Cars swerve oncoming into our lane.
New and improved this millennium,
our personal information,
numbers  to which we cling hover

in turbulent skies

One day, the cloud bursts.
The self, as I believed I was
rains down on another.
And they became me.
Buying us clothes, jewelry, smartphones.
While the Real me shrinks,
a fake me grows.
I visit places I’ve dreamed of ….California, Oregon.
places I’ve nightmared of ….
Endless hours of
phone trees,
foggy voices,
while I beg Fraudulent me to be found.

And blame.
I’m good at blaming myself.
Did I not shred my mail?
Burn my credit applications?
Do I shop too much online?
Turns out I’m a just a good American citizen.
I paid my federal income tax.
That’s when the cloud burst and I turned into

Luck is a peculiarly random animal.
On a forgotten page,
torn out of history
Abraham Lincoln’s son was saved from certain death
by John Wilkes Booth’s brother
from a runaway train in 1865.
The odd story gives me hope.

I wait awake.
Burning midnight adrenaline oil,
of which I have little reserve.
as I have always
foolishly vigilant against an invisible capricious flood
Listening to coal trains rumble in rain
across the timeless Pawnee Grasslands.
Waiting a return
reading of smoke signals
listening for hooves of pony express.


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