Black and white zoeglossia logo featuring a high contrast rendering of poet Larry Eigner's typewriter.

This Poem Is Universal, I promise.

Call me the every man, 
the kind of guy you want to have a beer 
and watch the game with. 
Please ignore that when I had to break the seal 
I went into the bathroom with the rustic “W” and wished there was one with no letter at all. 

This poem is for you. 
And now I’m feeling numb from the beer. 
You know the feeling. 
I’m certainly not feeling numb for some reason you wouldn’t understand. 
My numbness has nothing to do with the wheelchair I rolled through the wide bathroom door. 

You and I agree on what numb feels like. 
It’s comfortable, unfeeling, indifferent. 
Just like all the metaphors promise. 

Numb couldn’t mean 
a thousand feelings simultaneously
a realization of the overlaps between responses to extremes
a synesthesia that feels burns as frostbite, tickles as scrapes. 

This is a universal poem, I promise. 
Numb means having too many beers. 
You don’t drink beer? 

Read this and other poems by Zoeglossia Poets featured in Wordgathering’s Reading Loop. The section is dedicated to Michael Northen who has been a steadfast advocate for disability community and poetry.

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