feigning disappointment during pandemic

today i may rain-walk to a post office, 
a way to kill time. 
i could maybe go grunt some labor, 
carry materials and dig holes, 
though that’s a slaughtering i resist. 

go earn some money, prove
your value. “you can’t work 
36 straight hours with no sleep?!” 
chuffs the fading man on the fishing boat. 
what a fucking loser. 
go earn some money, 
prove your value. 

a friend uses a lot 
of exclamation points in his 
messages to me, i am not 
excited. is he? 

then of course the tired line about 
“a form of punctuation between
the stark black-eyed stare of period 
and the idiocy of exclamation point”.
i don’t have to explain 
myself, i can write
in riddle and accept that 
there will always be such howling 
chasm between us, we; 

perhaps i choose this version
of life, the oblivion of poem,
as a way to preserve my biases. 
people don’t read; do i? 
well, yes. 
and people aren’t excited, which
i know as i am not 
excited. well, no. 
i wake into screaming hope 
of morning, heart singing like a razor 
blade, rupturing with a shredding 

how quickly we dull! 
though of course that is just i.
what a wonderful form of joy, to choose
writing and also defiance; to think 
in incomprehensible fragment, 
a derisive lack of focus. 
if you do not earn money,
what value are you? 

a walk to the post office crosses 
a bridge, over a river that is 
in-season for dead salmon. 
that is a killing we can agree on, 
the stench rising to our falling 
eyes. the excitement
has long worn off, so i replicate
its bodily feeling with caffeine and
the sweetness of disappointment.
i will walk just enough 
to kill, but not enough 
to die. if we are to prove 
our value, is it enough, 
to be alive?

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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