hey everybody
you’ve got your hand on everybody else’s shoulder. you are fine.
we’re all going to be fine now.
we’re open and connected.
i see the little piece of note that was once pinned to your sleeve
so you can bet i know.
last year there was a grey sky and another grey sky.
i’m no donkey but i know
but that’s all past now.
it’s what we call “in the past”
like wheels and windows and underwater accommodations.

there’s so many things that can
break your heart in this life.
lately, when i fart i think of my grandmother and the colostomy
bag she’s had to wear these past 3 years.
how my niece sat in the backseat of her white lincoln
continental as my gram sped down the street, reckless in
dark black wrap around glaucoma sunglasses.
how my niece said dreamily “i smell burrito”
and how i, afraid in the passenger seat, hoped my grandmother
hadn’t heard.
the smell and the speed and the florida streetscape. all warm.
i can tell you all know just what i mean.
there were a good 30 years during which i associated
my grandmother with the smell of baby powder
but that’s been erased. i fart and think of my grandmother.
that’s a bummer right there.

but just this morning i swam out
of my bed and decided to do something about it.
there were student nurses studying nearby and i enlisted
their expertise.

Stephanie Barber is a writer and artist living in Baltimore, MD. Her chapbook poems was published by Bronze Skull Press in 2006 and her book these here separated to see how they standing was published in May 2008 and reprinted in 2010 by Publishing Genius Press. More can be learned at her website.