Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

My Thief

by Mark Brazaitis

My identity was stolen last week,
and I was too lazy
to contact the police,
my bank, my Internet providers.
I didn’t even think to mention it to my wife
until five days later.
By then, she and my daughters
were off on a two-week Caribbean cruise
with the man who claimed to be me.
He must have been persuasive:
My wife can’t step on a boat
without hurling her last meal
onto unsuspecting dolphins.
I’ve started receiving junk email from myself.
The products I, or my stolen self,
push are not without merit.
I, for one (or two, I guess), could benefit from both
hair removal and hair replacement,
as well as from a pill that promises to say “Poof”
to those excess fifteen pounds.
Sadly, however, I can order nothing
because my credit cards are maxed out.
The Caribbean cruise, I can forgive.
The shenanigans in Vegas, I cannot.

I saw him, eventually, my thief.
One afternoon I was walking into my living room,
and when I turned to the wall,
there he was.
I wasn’t looking at myself in a mirror
because the mirror, like everything else,
had been stolen.
I thought the man in question would be slimmer;
I certainly thought he’d have more hair.
“You disappoint me.”
We spoke simultaneously.
We stared at each other, teeth gritted, neither of us
wanting to blink.