of all my recent talk
about my rage and sorrow
at how humans suborn
all the machinations of Evil
and take each other for pawns
to be moved at will
in games huge and tiny
can be grating, I know.
It grates on me as well.
I wake up raw most days
and on the other days it’s not long
before I am drawn to picking at
the new scabs and nearly-healed scars
of my previous wounds.
I have them always on my mind.
I feel them festering and itching on my skin.
I taste them, dark and sour, in my mouth.
You don’t know how much I would prefer
to speak only of my garden
filled with midsummer close-to-ripeness,
or of hours of simplicity watching my cat,
or of the peace in lying with my love
long hours in a just-enough-room bed.
I speak of these things often in my head;
I feel them often in my skin;
I long for them to be all that’s in my mouth.
But all that daily joy
quickly fails and swiftly pales
when I move from acknowledging it
in the moment I feel it to using it
to hide from what looms Beyond.
I have a voice, not for me,
but for others. I was not born
to talk to myself. It falls to me
to speak, even if it is poor speech,
even if it is faltering, even when it’s
Wrong — a bad tack taken
in a run toward Right — how will I know
unless I take it and hear it and choose
the correction? So I speak and speak
on all that roiling cloud of Evil out there,
over the hill, coming toward me,
toward us all. I speak of those
it has already taken, of those
fighting not to be swallowed.
I speak of it always in my head.
I feel it raising the hair on my skin.
I long to one day put its taste out of my mouth.