Steve Henn

I Remember

Godwilling, a long sober summer ahead.
I walk nowhere every day as if the journey
is the destination. Years ago and way down
south I walked around for hours, for blocks,
for miles, in circles, without pause
until I fell on my knees on a darkened stretch
of pavement and jammed my fingers
down my throat to purge the Hell I lived
as if its Genesis was in my guts.
It would really help if I could talk about
the things that happened but I am told
for the benefit of me and certain interested parties
it’s best to let it go. Reasonable advice I haven’t
a clue how to enact. I’ve never been that frightened
since. They even poisoned the watermelon
at the grocery store. I wouldn’t put it
in my gaunt and terrified skull. I called my brother
who put me up and put up with me overnight
and then returned me to that purgatory,
to the hospital I hated for everything
they didn’t do, for all they failed to heal in me.

STEVE HENN wrote Indiana Noble Sad Man of the Year (Wolfson 2017) and two previous collections from NYQ Books. Find out more at