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"Hurt" • Johnny Cash (by Phil Goldstein)

When reduced to less than dust

underfoot a rhino in Kenya, it helps

to bring the mind back to the prosaic.

I did manage to walk downstairs

to the refrigerator, with the aim

of making myself at least a sandwich.

But when the light flooded glass

I saw myself in the shape of a gallon of milk, but not.

Top third scythed off sharply. Now, what is it?

Overflowing all the time, unsightly, hard to hold.

No use to anyone, really. But it's there.

I balance myself before 

spilling all over the carpet. 

No one around 

to soak up what's left of me.

Phil Goldstein is a poet, editor, copywriter, journalist and content marketer. His debut poetry collection, How to Bury a Boy at Sea, was published by Stillhouse Press in April 2022. His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net award, and his work has appeared in or is forthcoming in South Dakota Review, The Shore, West Trade Review, Atticus Review, Jet Fuel Review, and elsewhere. By day, he works as an editor and copywriter for a large technology company. He currently lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Jenny, and their animals: a dog named Brenna, and two cats, Grady and Princess. Twitter/X: @philgoldstein Instagram: @philagoldstein.


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