Daily Archives: June 6, 2022

The Text

Overcome today with the understanding
that if there is a meaning to the universe
I’m merely a period closing one routine
sentence in the owner’s manual,

and if I’d been left out from the beginning
the meaning would still be clear from context.
My absence would mean nothing at all
except to the most nitpicky readers.

I am not absent
but I am minuscule in comparison
to the broad sweep of the text.
It’s a comforting thought. Nothing

depends on me, you say? No more
than on anything else? That’s 
a cold lick of freedom indeed, 
and as I fade into the invisible background

I’m thinking less and less, 
feeling more and more, and 
more or less invigorated by this,
I turn toward the light with a smile.


We have seen them, and met you;
this is why we build ramparts.

Some of you stand outside, calling out
that it will be fine. We will stay

where it’s safe, thank you.
You would likely fail

at living like this. We 
thrive here, more or less.

Contrary to the noise,
it’s nearly fine in here:

too narrow for you,
too tight for them,

but these swaddling walls
suit some of us just fine.

We’re tired of them killing us
and you wringing your hands

We built this because of you:

you’re not the worst
of them, but you certainly 

make a lot of apologies 
for who they are as if you 

want to stay on their
good side. God almighty, 

don’t stand outside with them
and preach about community

and unity and love
for one another:

this is why we came together
and built the ramparts, after all.

Don’t you see that we can’t love you?
How could we? From up here 

behind the parapets,
we can see you.

You say it’s beautiful out there
and we should come be with you?

From what I can see, 
the only thing you have we don’t

is more room to be vicious
with one another, to flail wildly

whether you are slaying
or perishing. We’re good, thanks;

in fact, behind these ramparts,
we are dancing and laughing.

The gates lock from inside.
We will unlock them

when we’re ready, but certainly
not until we are sure you are done.