If

by Elliott Bell

If I were to disappear –
How many people would notice?
How long would it take?
I count my fingers.

One
Two
Three
Four
Five.

That sounds about right.
I wonder where I’d go
In this hypothetical scenario?

Perhaps I ran away –
In the woods I’d take my chances
Nesting in branches,
Eating toadstools and worms
As free as the birds.

Or maybe I was nabbed –
Tied up in a van
Of a bad, bad man,
This predator of prey
Would haul me away.

Maybe I’d simply be gone
Not even I would know where –
Floating in space or the depths of the sea
Nothing but darkness cradling me.

I don’t know why I think of these things.
But I wonder at the number of strings –
Strapping me in and soundly in place,
Steering my hands and swaying my face.

Would people see
If I ever let go?
Snipped the strings,
Stopped the show?

If I collapsed
And leaked through the floor,
Would anyone notice
I wasn’t here anymore?

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