Prosthetics – Brian Rihlmann

I round the aisle and nearly
bump her with my cart.  She
smiles and I smile and we both
walk on.  I turn and look—
a perfect bubble ass beneath
a short pink skirt. A smooth
leg, ivory skin.  The other’s black…
plastic and shiny, tapering
into a titanium calf.

I love her…how she owns the lack.
I want to follow.  Ask if she’ll
be my guru, but no—
if mine was visible, maybe.
A stump, or even a scar.  A limp.
A crutch or a cane.  Something.
All I’ve got is this.  Nobody can
see it, and there’s no prosthetic.
No way to strut.

Though I do scribble a lot.
I’ve got hundreds of pages of lack—
stacks of it, propping me up.
I guess I could bring her home.
Show her that.  Watch as
realization creeps in, and her
eyes search for an exit.

Brian RihlmannBrian Rihlmann was born in New Jersey and currently resides in Reno, Nevada. He writes free verse poetry, and has been published in The Blue Nib, The American Journal of Poetry, Cajun Mutt Press, The Rye Whiskey Review, and others. His first poetry collection, Ordinary Trauma, (2019) was published by Alien Buddha Press.