Inside Jokes by Emily K. Michael

A long draped table hosts five blind guests, two microphones, one moderator:
a last supper strewn with free pencils, insufficient paper, and clear water glasses.

In reaching for the only microphone that still works my partner threatens
to send his decorous goblet tinkling to the floor – its thousand shards

a dark promise for the paws of our assembled guide dogs. A second swipe
for the mic brings the glass an inch from peril, so he hands it to me.

I place it out of reach before the empty chair at my right. No one mentioned
the glasses when we sat down. No one filled the water jug. No one brought

an extra microphone, so we pass the good one back and forth, rustling
the heavy mic stand along the disposable tablecloth, clinking the cord

against the overturned water glasses, bracing ourselves for the feedback.

Emily K. Michael is a blind poet, musician, and writing instructor, living in Jacksonville, FL. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Wordgathering; Artemis Journal; Compose Journal; Disability Rhetoric; Breath & Shadow; Bridge Eight; Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics; I Am Subject Stories: Women Awakening, BREVITY’S Nonfiction Blog, and Mosaics (Vol. 2). She develops grammar workshops for multilingual learners and participates in local writing festivals. Find her on Twitter (@ModwynEarendel) and at her blog On the Blink



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