Acceptance Letter

By Sam Schmidt

I’ve fooled you for now

But one day you will notice from the off-white of my shirt
That I do not separate light from dark when I do my laundry
That I have worn holes in the soles and the toes of my shoes

Little clues
Consequential only in hindsight

But not until you see how I write
The childlike slant that leaves my ring finger blotted with ink
And you hear the Midway in my voice
Will you truly suspect that you’ve made a mistake.

Then you will see my thoughts only half-formed
My text a translucent, paper-thin tissue of citations (Barthes 42)
My credentials counterfeit, my ethos nonexistent

And suddenly you’ll know I don’t belong here

Some modern Chicago Pygmalion imposter
Destined to live forever in my hoarder house
With Franz Kafka nightmares crawling up the walls
At what point in the overcompensation, if any
Does one cease to deceive?