Silver Linings

“Dimensional Detachment Therapy”, “Silver Linings” and “Like a Secret”

In Poetry by James Knapp

Dimensional Detachment Therapy

I talk to myself in third person.


I walk around department stores

in my pajamas, and when someone asks

what I'm doing I say, “Do you mind?

I'm busy with my sleepwalk.”


I buy things I might need

in case I die tomorrow.


I've started collecting satellite dishes

to broadcast “What a Wonderful World”

on a loop to congressmen

until they get the message.


I believe the earth was made

in eight and a half days.


I throw rocks at the windows

of passing 747s, hoping someone

on board will panic and open

the emergency exit door mid-flight.


I tried to disprove God

but she wouldn't let me.


I attend funerals I wasn't invited to

just to look the body in the eye.


My ex-psychiatrist always told me

I was never meant for this dimension.


Sliver Linings

On the corner by the drugstore

I sit on the curb and glare

at the calluses, bleeding on my palms,

being baked by the sun

during an unreasonably hot September

evening. Stoplight traffic

has slowed to a trickle of Plymouths

and Buicks built before I was born.


I feel the weight radiating

from the phone in my pocket,

containing your last message

I haven’t had the guts to read yet.


I focus on the splintered wood-grain

underneath my fingernails. Two blocks

from the job site is all I’ve managed

to walk. Somewhere

past the flickering

yellow light I know

you’re waiting for me,

doodling circles in the rings

your perspiring pint glass left

on our scarred coffee table.


The blood from a wounded day

is pooling in my palms, as the sun cakes

crust over the slivers

lining the tips of my fingers, wondering

how they’ll feel your skin again.

Like a Secret

I met you exactly where you told me to:

your shut-in neighbor’s

old farm equipment shed. No one

had heard from him in years.


Earlier, in church, you said

you had something to tell me.


When I arrived you had already fallen

to your knees on the packed dirt floor,

in a fury, gouging at your eyes with balled

palms and two tear stains pooling

on your Sunday school dress.


For a moment, in the door frame

with rusty hinges but no door to hold,

I saw you on an altar.

Almost ready to be sacrificed

to your own life, laid out before you

like dominoes on the edge

of an active volcano.


You dug deeper into your eyes as I walked in

and wordlessly put my hands over your own

and lead them to your side.


The outside world had ceased.

We stared into each other, past swollen

red eye sockets and into reflective glass gaze

until we finally embraced, the way only people

who will one day live can.


You never told me what you had to that day.

It was the last day I ever saw you.

About the Author

James Knapp

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James Knapp is a writer and podcaster from Harrisburg, PA. He currently hosts Sixteen and the Planet Express Delivery Podcast.