Monday, April 12, 2010

The Death of Everything I Ever Believed

Today on the news
I saw a man who’d lost everything in a fire
His two children, wife, all his possessions
He just stood on the street watching it burn.
How do you recover from that?
Go back and buy new shirts for work, another sturdy coffee mug
For Saturday mornings with the paper?
No, you just need to die too.
The only thing you can do is die.
Today in the street
I saw a man with no arms licking up
The vomit from a dog.
He’d lived his whole life this way
Begging, retching, spitting out gravel.
There was no one next to me to see it,
No one around to tell me to put my arms around the man to help
No one around to put their arms around me
Just me and the man.
How do you even speak about it?
To give that picture a name?
No, you just need to hurt.
The only thing you can do is hurt.
I used to think I could do anything.
Toil all day, labor through life
If I just had one person who believed
The single most important thing in life was to end each day
In the arms of the person you loved.
But how do you ever allow yourself to dream such foolishness?
No one wants that, believes in that anymore.
And you can’t make someone into what they are not.
How do you start over when everything you ever believed in was wrong?
No, all you can do is lie in the dark alone.
Be in the dark alone.
I used to have these visions of my own death
Never how, not some horrific car crash or being crushed by falling walls.
No, just the feeling, the frustration of dying alone
With so much left to do
Thinking, if I only had a pen and paper
I could write one last letter
Let this person know they were my dying thought.
But there will be no such utensil in my hand
Just the light fading to black
And my anger seething
Until I am gone.

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