There’s that theory that people
only have a certain amount of light
to give before they need to recharge.
Given to anyone, in rations,
in parts by the million,
in trust, and love,
and jetted brilliance.
Give and take; push and pull.
But while my rations spread thin;
given to mother, father, brother,
friends, family, lover,
the dog I see on the street,
the plants growing in my room,
to the neighbors, coworkers,
the people handing out perfume.
to the books, the poems,
the music I play in my sleep;
I feel like I’m giving out my light by the heap.
An even spread, a tiny amount to everyone.
I feel like I’m treading water.
Your rations for me, well,
how do you have that much left?
How do you ration for grass and bugs,
for bees and trees and birds and lungs,
for printed shirts and coffee mugs,
and still give me so much?
How do you ration for finer things,
the kind that only your rich friends bring,
for park benches and silly string,
but my portion stays untouched.
How do you ration for food you eat,
for whistling lips and calloused feet,
and when you finally start to feel complete
another round of rations go out.
While I simply have none left to lend,
I keep on trying with an empty tank,
empty rations, and empty promises to a friend.
You give the times more than I can give
and get scraps from me in return.
Give and take; push and pull;
but the balance has long since burned.
You say I owe you nothing more.
You say I have given enough.
You say there’s one ration I’m forgetting;
You say that ration feeds the others.
You say, in time, your light will grow.
You said I asked you a long time ago for help
but when you gave me the solution I did not listen
and instead struggled harder, longer, to show
the people, things, places, the light I had.
You said my light has dimmed,
but of course, will grow.