Identity

I’ve written a book
that just came out,

and as I held it
in my hands last night
after reading a few pages,
I felt the current of all
my sixty-nine years
flowing between
those covers.

How can that be?
There are so
many mysteries.

I can remember
when I was three,
sitting in the little sandbox
in the courtyard of our
apartment building,
a few days after
having my tonsils out,
and starting to bleed
from the throat.

Mother rushed me
to the hospital, where
the doctor waited with
a gurney he set me on,
then ran me down the halls
to a room where he cauterized,
that is, burned, the wound,
while I screamed
and Daddy held me.

All the while,
I was not really
that three year-old,
but someone watching
the whole scene –

the same someone
who is watching now
as I hold
this pen and write
these words