F I R S T

Published and Publicized were not the same
The difference lay dormant in the critique
One signaled the end of streaming thoughts
The other marked the beginning

It was like that at work
It was like that in school
Flashbacks visit in waves
People observing me

Speaking in my stead
Sometimes for
Sometimes against
The unpublishing

Of my silence

I remember when he
Said it was good
The day he called
My pain poetry

He didn’t know
My pain had no
Words
It was then I knew

He was the poet

My first love was this wondrous thing first