On Examination

A Failure to Fail

Being scrutinized

It has been hard
Living a life
Of being told
Not to be me

So, since that
was not possible
I had to design an exterior
A mask

I’m not really as competent as I seem

As though my competency
were the loose edge of a carpet
threatening to trip you

So in passing the examination with flying colors
I fail

I remember being scolded for learning to ride a bicycle faster than my brother,

And being told over and over again
Not to know more than my brothers
Not to show them up in any way

My mother gave me a feast-full of lobsters when I graduated from college
I am allergic to lobster
I will die if I eat 
Too much
An accumulative poisoning
One that doesn’t go away between mouthfuls

The lobsters were for my brother
Why didn’t you mention him when you were on stage?
They asked

I helped cook the festival feast
The lobsters
I served them
And watched them being eaten

I succeeded in graduating from college
But failed to find a place at the table

In my glory
comes the reflection
of nothing

I am
And so,
Because I am
I am not

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