Silly Ass

by Michael Estabrook

damn dream so often
a true recurring dream -
I'm in college it's
exam time but I've missed
so many classes I'll
clearly be unable to pass.
but I must try. I must.
so I set out to see
what it'll take
to pass but can't
even find the first
classroom it's as if
it doesn't exist even
the building doesn't
exist like in that
storybook from my childhood
of the house made of candy
& cake that disappears
the young boy & girl
return to it with their
aunt (who looks amazingly
like my Aunt Alice) & it
simply isn't there anymore
& it had been so
real too but now vanished
just like that only
fog & an uneasy silence
remaining. silence.
in the next class my
classmates don't recognize
me I don't recognize
them either they
won't help me merely laugh
shake their heads
sure we'll help you we'll
help you pass sure.
in another class
the professor stares at
me but who are you & why
would you not have attended
my classes?
I search my bookshelves &
desk drawers for lecture
notes I surely
have taken but cannot find
any. so I use the books
try to study but
am disturbed repeatedly
by strange people
coming & going in & out of
my rooms rich people in
fancy clothing laughing
& drinking champagne
like in The Great Gatsby.
ah the hell with it.
I decide to drop the hell
out what do I need
this shit for anyway but
when I tell my
friend Karen she thinks I'm
being fool-hardy so
damned fool-hardy for crying
out loud stop & think
about what you're doing!
her brow is hard, furrowed,
her green green eyes
piercing into me you've come
this far Jesus Christ!
the semester's almost over
you have to stick
with it see it through
but I don't
want these courses
anymore oh that's the
silliest damn thing I've
ever heard don't
be such a silly ass any
courses are better
than none you're wasting money
if you quit now & what
if in the future you want
these courses again you
change your mind & want
them again you'll have to
go back & take them
all over from the
beginning Jesus Mike.
(she's angry with me but
that's why she's my friend)
yes. you're right Karen.
I know you're right.
so I thank her
kiss her strong white cheek.
I've decided to do the
smart thing & take my
exams but damn!
I don't know where
to begin.

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