The Fraud

Poem By Sam Toil

a hallway. offices. tinted sunlight.
people who have forgotten my name.
but i am here.
and then a room. and a meeting.
and i am unprepared.
“you’re up” says the leader.
and my lungs fill with heaviness as they all turn towards me.
my mind screams.
my throat locks.

and then a word fights through the scream.
and i breathe. and find a voice.
and then another word.
and a thought.
then relevance.
i am moving.
and eyes do not wander.
but the scream fights on:
they will find out.

i was connected at one time.
so the scream would fade.
but not now.
these many years later.
“we could use you again, ”
he had said.
and i had relented.
but why? boredom? faith?
the scream of fear vs. the scream of isolation?
or a familiar voice dragging me back from madness.
“what have you been up to? ”
he had asked.
and i had lied.
and now my mind all scrambled between work and stupor.

“what on EARTH are you talking about? ! ”
demands the one who should have taken over for me.
and the throat locks again.
and the scream rises up.
and he knows it.
but sympathy has no place here.
so i struggle with the scream.
and find the words to hide the Fraud
as he shakes his head in disgust.

and i remember why i left.
so i wade in the scream until i am done and take my seat.
and the scream that never dies whispers, “what else is there? ”

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