A Life in Several Stanzas

I

I didn’t do the things you told me
Not to do, true. But who does that leave
Me now? How am I supposed to cope with
The subtle extinguishing of hope within
My chest that promises more rest than
I am worth? From birth directed, always as
Expected: passivity perfected is all that’s left
Inside, so open wide and flash that toothy grin
That offers sin wrapped in remorse, gift horse to
My dentist.

II

The poet doesn’t know it; no
Seed will ever grow it. The
Human eye can see it, if it manages to
Free itself from the oppressiveness of vision for
One soul-blinding second. Reckoned in aeons,
Gone in minutes: no matter how you spin it, it
Never quite stops spinning, its neon
Afterglow trimming the stars within its orbit,
Arcing through the darkness, a never-likened
Likeness of a face forever hidden, and it swirls,
Unbidden.

III

When this rocking horse stops rocking and
The finish line comes knocking at my
Inconsequence, with what eloquence will I
Announce the lifetime I renounced and now
Search for in despair? Will I find it is not there? Not
Anywhere at all but in the thoughts of pious mermaids,
Awash in holy marmalade smeared on tasteless
Wafers? Am I safer for the knowledge, or by it am I
Vanquished? Is this banquet for the eating
Of those whose hearts are beating, or must it
Wait and rot, for those whose hearts
Are not?

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