I have had the pleasure
of being in brightly lit rooms
with people who nod and smile
as a way of masking
It is splendid to judge.
I wonder how many times
they’ve looked at me
like a dog with a gimp leg
thinking, that boy ought to
find some help.
No matter. With each year
added to my total I learn
how better to stare out
the mask, which is my face,
at unfamiliar combines
as if to me they were as natural
as rain, as sunshine, as if to me
they had entwined among their
breath any semblance of meaning
beyond the acrid burn of poison
bought and consumed willingly.
Here’s a dedication. I will match
each dollar spent on forgetting
with a word to describe how it felt
and you will stand here forever
in a trance of listening, thinking
when will he shut his fucking mouth?
Written at 11:54 at night, in my office, in Agoura Hills CA.