the sun is up and all the lights are on but the town is still 5 o’clock shadow

i was yesterday 
mildly betrayed by a man 
who is no more than 
an acquaintance. 
he and i, 
of differing opinion, 
engaged in the modern sport 
of pointless internet “debate”. 
it was quickly evident
that this man was of a 
differing capacity, 
though i was at this point already 
a forest on fire, 
my only options being; 
ash or suffocation. 

there is no point to this 
little story, 
only that we find all 
manner of camouflage with 
which to wield our unkindness. 
we use up 
the entirety of our mirrors 
when trying to reflect back
courage and strength.
inside we are terrified. 

so of course this morning 
i took a walk. 

this town in December 
is so dark. 
this town in December
is full of trucks.
men of varying sizes get 
into large trucks and feel themselves
powerful. big truck barks 
and men adjust to the bouncing 
of their seat, unaware 
that they shine fetal in their 
gleaming trucks. trucks 
made to haul; many of these men
having never hauled more than 
their sagging waistline to this 
December town’s lone McDonalds. 

Is any of this kind? 
speaking on the capacity
of a betraying acquaintance? 
the mild mockery of 
frail men impregnating their trucks 
with their fetal form? 
is this the kindness i set out
to convey? 

all year long this town has a short 
suspension bridge, 
linking a large island to another
much smaller. 
this bridge crosses an ocean channel, 
harbors line the shore on one side,
a parking lot on the other. 
i like to walk this bridge and look
at the highway of this ocean channel, 
its symbolism, the illusory freedom 
of escape. and so this morning 
i walked over the bridge, 
an attempt to set free my escaping 
mind. i looked at the mountains, 
just beyond the teardrop town, 
and felt alchemical commingling of 
rage, sorrow, and hatred. 
the mountains remained quiet. 

my body grows soft in ways that 
displease me. i worry 
of the hardness that i also grow.
it is a dreadful misunderstanding, 
to mistake kindness for softness, 
and softness for weakness. 
if i jump
from the top of the bridge, 
that water rushing up towards me will 
greet me as though steel. 
if i shed the weight 
of worry and fear, the constriction
of anger’s hard frailty, 
and walk slowly into
this same water, it will 
allow me to softly float. 

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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