The disturbing truth

is that we are disturbed,
that this is normal,
all these lonely nights
and private sufferings;
the whole order
of buildings and bureaucracies
are boundaries
around minds perpetually on the brink
of madness, loathing,
stark tears and uncontrollable anger,
all ordinary,
matters of course,
terrifying in their relentless
presence in our lives,
terrifyingly thin protections
against everyday psychosis,
against life that can never be lost
because it’s never had,
against sentences undeserving of punctuation
that we give our commas and question marks to
out of nothing more than hope
that the love we imagine
might be more than hunger,
that something is ultimately sensical
in a universe that writhes and pulses with us,
rocks crashing against one another
and order in chaos
and chaos and chaos
and dead emptiness.

This can’t be real, this endless frightful winter,
only struggling minds
arriving out of darkness, making pictures of life:
making ourselves up out of whole cloth,
pure dream image
and being born to it with no milk,
no breast,
no warm hearth and dancing family
and color and safety—
what there is is what we make and keep,

a candle with no wick or wax,
only fire,
only this,
only invention in endless night,
only us raising roses from dead soil
and sunlight from out of abyss.
Bread is water,
fear is endless,
and all of the struggle that one feels when alone is only
terribly ordinary,
the inevitable sounds of the edges tearing
and revealing that no truth lies beneath the page.
Only life.
Only this.
Only us.

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