On the last day,
in nervous & incoherent scribbles,
clinging to the lines of a
crumpled & stolen piece
of office memo pad paper,
I can no longer tell whether
people have distinct faces.
Focus escapes me.
How, despite looking,
seeing has become impossible.
Their eyes all melt in the dark,
into a blurry array of blue & violet,
(the way fresh oil paint smears under thumbs,
as if the painter himself felt betrayed
& then submitted the canvas to some frantic violence).
The same panic consumes me,
now that the others all begin to appear the same.
I was perhaps,
born with too thin of a shell.
Sometimes, I feel
like one of those dolls from the old country,
You know, the ones that sleep inside one another,
with their faces painted
(mechanically these days.
all the authenticity has been stripped away
just for the sake of appealing to the masses).
Maybe I too crack easily,
(I shatter at the slightest touch.)
I thought once that there was beauty in fragility
but I alone held such a belief.
Just as those figurines,
I too reduce continually in size,
Always shrinking by half,
In the hope that if I am just small enough,
No one will see my emptiness.
In the end, I think I hardly even exist:
I hardly even bother the dust settling around me
& if anything,
that internal void takes up more space
than I have ever wished.
I’m disenchanted by those idiot boxes
& their flavors of the month.
Whether it costs you a penny or a fortune,
I’ve somehow always felt Truth
had to be more than whatever they are selling,
Good God, something in this life must have value.
I need to know this.
So I’ve been out looking for it,
But we are at war,
The people are always at war,
because peace is for the birds,
(or so they say)
Yet I always step on land mines,
By now, they’ve blown off my hands
& also my feet.
So, I can no longer touch,
& I, sure as hell,
You know, my lungs just may burst.
Patience tastes like a barb-wire
in the back of my mouth.
No matter those sprawling views,
& the ever static landscapes,
I am starting to forget what
it feels like to have a home,
(as if before, I truly knew that,
I don’t think I did
but you know,
the mind has ways
of making things feel
softer in retrospect.)
In this way,
I miss what I’ve never had.
I am still so eager to taste
the fruit of a tree,
I’m coming to understand,
& so I’m going to rest my bones
Along with the other dead idealists:
somewhere between complacency &
blood that runs ice-cold.
(Do you think that dreams can rot ?
Or do they only ever petrify?)