today

today
he should wake up
before noon &
borrow
his brother’s suit &
get a Job oh
how happy
this would make his mother &
maybe

his father
would even put a hand
on his shoulder
but he thinks
this would be too awkward
he hopes
his father
will not touch him
at all.

today
he should trim his beard
because he knows
his mother
would like this &
he likes
to do things
that make his mother
smile.

today
he should not watch
television
all day &
he should
smile
in front of his mother
more often, again,
he knows
she likes this &

today
he should call
his brother
because he knows
how much he tends
to worry
too.

today
he should eat his dinner
in the living room
with his family
not alone
again
in his room
he thinks it would be nice
to tell his father a joke
he heard
at school today
you know

the one about the black Jehovah’s
witness &
god he knows
how much his father loves
to laugh
at black people.

today
he should not think
so much
he always
thinks too much &
he should not
chew
so loudly
while eating
or scrape his fork
across the ceramic plate
too hard

while his family
all face the same direction
staring
at the television screen
ray romano almost burns down
the kitchen
trying to cook christmas dinner
alone &

the studio audience laughs
too loudly &
he finds himself
laughing
too loudly &
he never told his father the joke
because he already
forgot
the punch line.

About Tyler Ziebarth

Tyler is a second-year MACP student who loves film, walking on treadmills, & talking about Kurt Vonnegut. Sometimes, he wishes he could speak French.

Tyler Ziebarth

Tyler is a second-year MACP student who loves film, walking on treadmills, & talking about Kurt Vonnegut. Sometimes, he wishes he could speak French.

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