After Billy Collins

Two months ago, I pulled my vinyl blind—
the roll up kind—and it didn’t roll up. No, this morning, it was not in the mood
to curl inside of itself, shut off
from the world, obediently wait for me
to come back, late at night
violently needing, wanting,
pulling.

The only way I knew to respond
to the blind’s new-found stubbornness
was with stubbornness of my own—
I yanked and yanked, convinced
my human strength could out-match
that of synthetic fiber.

I didn’t anticipate the resilience,
the fortitude of pent-up anger,
the unrelenting need to prove superiority
that I was confronted with.
This was not a battle of equals.

And so, I was forced to surrender, to slowly
back away from my fogged window.
Shocked, baffled.
The blind bitterly hanging onto
its wooden rod by one single staple.
Its body mangled—

a flat sheet contorted
into some sort of conical hut,
a bastion of resistance.
My room, a dark cave
with only two small triangles of morning-
light: testaments to the waged war.

Two months later, the vinyl blind still clings
to its staple. I can’t decide
if I let it remain out of respect
or laziness. Or have I grown to like
the pure geometric reminders
of my human fallibility?
Feeling my imperfection
lit on my face each morning.