This is not ok.
I am not ok.
I say this fully aware that as an able-bodied, neurotypical, cisgendered, heterosexual, gender-conforming, middle-class, middle-aged, white male who was lucky enough to be born into a strong, stable, supportive family, and who has an MBA from a prestigious school and an executive position in a field that has blissfully remained unaffected by the global pandemic, I am as privileged as it is possible to be without being a member of the 1%.
A very tiny spider pranced around atop my head.
It shimmied down my earlobe, and then dangled from a thread.
It scurried down my shoulder, and then scuttled down my arm,
While I watched with much amusement, since it clearly meant no harm.
Oh, where do spiders wander when they walk across the floor?
Do they have a spider family waiting just outside the door?
I hope its web is warm and soft when the day comes to an end.
I am not content to be content. Not today,
Tomorrow, or after the leaves fall. In my way,
I am restless: eager to grow, eager to learn,
To find in each season a lesson, in turn.
I will use all the words that flow from my pen
To fight for the rights of less fortunate men:
To speak for the speechless and give them a voice,
To give hope to the hopeless – to offer a choice
I would burn for you if you asked me to.
I would douse myself in kerosene,
Light a match, and wrap myself in flames
So that I might join you in solidarity –
That I might join you in protest
Of a brutal and blameless man,
Who left you bruised and beaten outside and
Battered and broken inside and
Burning – so brightly burning – all over.
I wish I could fragment myself,
Split myself in two,
In one hundred and forty four thousand,
In order to take on the suffering
Of each and every one of them:
The depressed, the isolated, and the melancholy.
The used, the abused, and the broken-hearted.
To each and every one of them,
To each and every one who hurts,
The fog devours the world today,
Gray and voracious,
Like a swarm of mosquitoes feasting
On the salt-streaked flesh of summer revelers
It eats and eats and eats and eats,
Whatever thought or care,
Whatever sympathy or empathy
It might otherwise have for its prey
Completely subsumed by the desire,
The burning desire,
The endless desire,
The burning and endless desire
To sate its burning and endless hunger
What was there now is gone,
Oh, cumin and spice make a flavor
That’s incredibly easy to savor
When consumed with a spoon
It is gone far too soon
But it’s worth all the hours of labor
Three cats cried out
in the middle of the night.
Then all was silent.
The three parts are designed to be recited simultaneously. Voice 1 starts, and then each subsequent voice joins after the previous one has repeated once. Voice 3 repeats once, then drops out. Voice 2 drops out after two additional repetitions. Voice one ends with two final repetitions of the verse.
Go to sleep
Go to sleep
Go to sleep
been being be am is
now never then ever
ever never never was
always be am is me