What Am I Doing Here?

by Marjorie Sadin

What Am I Doing Here?
After Charles Baudelaire
“Life is a hospital, in which every patient is possessed by the desire of changing his bed.”

I want to be what I am not. I have penis envy, envy of birds, envy of gazelles. I am envious of Charles Baudelaire. I talk to him in my sleep, “What am I doing here?” He doesn’t answer. Maybe, if I lived in France, I would see what he saw—the Seine, the birds, the clocks, the stars. But then, he was drunk when he saw them. If I were drunk, I wouldn’t need to be anybody else. Not even Charles Baudelaire. Of course, it could be worse. I could be born during a war. And then I would only see dead birds, stopped clocks, and burnt-out stars. I would want to be anywhere else! But I am still not happy where I am. Even though the sky is a cerulean blue, the water so clear you can see coral, even though I am with you! You’d think I would be thankful. But I keep wondering-is there more?

“They Will Not Replace Us” (An Anagram)
To the whites only

You hate the race not yours.
History rapes others.
You tote weapons, unleash shrapnel
on the unwhite.
Lash out.
Lynch as hellcats, churls.
Racist acts on the soul.
Tears hurt to the lost (Till, Taylor*) 

*Emmett Till was a 14- year-old Black boy who was lynched and beaten
to death for whistling at a white woman in 1955 later to be proved false.

*Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old Black woman who was fatally shot six times in bed by police with a no-knock entry.

Abecedarian Where I Disappear

Abscond with my soul.
Blame me for wanting to be anywhere else. You
confuse me with your mother.
Don’t look for me where you can’t find me.
Envelop me under your wing.
Find me among things you threw away-
garbage—torn paper, old socks.
Hold me, I tremble like water on
ice. I am not just a piece of
junk. When I cry out, you
know you have me where you want.
Lie to me. Tell me I am not lost.
Move closer. I disappear. I am
nowhere—you can’t even see me
or feel me squirm.
Please spare me.
Quit coming on to me when I am not there.
Remember when we met,
September it was.  It’s as if we were destined
to be together but
underneath your clothes, there was a 
viper that stung.
We were meant to love each other to death. Do you
expect me to appear to 
you as if you were
Zeus, and I ravished? 

Marjorie Sadin‘s books of poetry include, “The Cliff Edge” by Modern Images and, “Struck by Love”, “In a Closet” and “Vision of Lucha” by Goldfish Press. Sadin has published in numerous magazines. She lives, and reads poetry in the Washington DC area.