• Matt Billas

Remote Control

By: Matt Billas


“You’re so skinny…” my ear hears, pricking up.


<Pause>


My disordered mind fills in the rest,

Bestowing unwarranted self-accolades, eager to please, praise.

False pretenses of grandeur and glory

Ill-deserved but nevertheless received.

“…you’re healthy, so fit, so committed.”

“You must exercise, eat well!


<Fast Forward>


Do the healthy awake in a hospital?

Draped in an ill-fitting gown of lies

Wrapped in sterile sheets somehow soiled with deceit?


<Rewind>


But this time listen; hear the rest, absorb!

“You’re so skinny…” the voice repeats, now encumbered by fear.

“…you should eat more, exercise less, take care of yourself!”

Shameless charade of well-being; pantomime of health!

See what you’ve done, burdening others.

You’ve seen where you end up, where you take them.

Look at them!


<Rewind> … No response, the tape doesn’t stir.


<Rewind> Dammit! <Rewind> I plead, I press.


Nothing; the button overworn from use. If not then, how?


<Play>


Life resumes, the scene continues.

Where you’ve been, who you’ve been,

That film has played out; a strip uncoiled.

Who you’ll be, how you’ll be?


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