Michael the Anything Else

How great it must be to be
considered The Great, like Alexander.

And how depressing to consider our own titles.
Michael the the misunderstood? Michael the drunk?
The bad-lucked?
Perhaps some of us are never meant to have nicknames
or are meant to be forever misunderstood,
incorrect history being taught repeatedly and repeatedly
like how Magellan circumnavigated the globe,
which he didn’t,
as he became Magellan the spear-filled in the Philippines
and never made it back.
Why doesn’t anyone tell the story of the Carthaginians
catapulting live snakes at the Romans?
Hannibal the forked-tongued!
And this is the way my hometown thinks of me,
as if I threw poisonous snakes at them all my life.
Earthenware pots filled with cobras for every home!
But that is how people tend to think of you in a small town
when you blow up a house
and burn down half your neighborhood.
Michael the condemned!
Michael the knee-deep in snow.
Michael the open-jawed, the tear-splattered.
The guilty.
Michael the remorseful.
Michael the anything else but this.

mike Maher is the founder and editor of Sea Giraffe, an online literary ‘zine. He currently reads, writes, edits, and walks his dog in Pennsylvania’s Pocono mountains. His poetry, fiction, and personal essays can be seen in publications like The Smoking Poet, The Ofi Press Magazine, and Calliope. While earning his BA in English from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, he served as the Vice President and Forum Editor of The Stroud Courier, winning the Jim Barniak Award for journalism twice during his time there. He also won the Martha E. Martin Award for poetry while at ESU.


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