A Passing Thought in the Age of Terror

One day, perhaps over morning coffee
As you drag yourself awake
Slowly, ruminating at the kitchen table
About nothing in particular, it appears
And cuts your breath: you know it can
Be different, life is yours to choose
Freely, if you wish, you can own
This disappearing act of yours
Before you vanish from yourself and those
For whom you say you live it.

But you feel it slipping past you,
Trickling out in trivial deeds
Repeated daily, the pillars of a normal life.
Sickening thought, this normalcy that grips you
By your throat and wrings you dry and dead.
Now in this quiet breath of solitude
Before the world arises into walking sleep
You are paralyzed by possibilities, nothing
Clear, just images that weave like dancing girls
Concealing and revealing wisps of dreams.

That is your burden now and hope
For tomorrow and the next day after that.
Begin with the smallest thing that owns you:
The need you have to think about another
Upon whom you can thrust your deepest doubts;
The stifling of a true response to a question.
Forget for once to blame your lie on love
For the other’s sensibilities. Admit your faith
In lies which you have deftly built your life upon
And which will fall in time into a heap of hurts.

It is always best to begin with truth,
If you can find it and the trust enough
To let it come and smash your normalcy
To bits. It will. It hurts, at first. Few
Like it, or you speaking it for that matter.
But it does matter greatly, it will burden you
With nothing much, the aperture to nothing more
Than everything that you can see as possible.
It’s tough to choose the terror of the truth
When trivia tranquilizes with such a soothing smile.

Then they are gone, the coffee and disturbing thoughts
As clocks alarm the others from their shady lives
To greet you, stunned and staring stupidly
Through space.

Edward Curtin writes and his work appears widely. He is the author of Seeking Truth in a Country of Lies. Read other articles by Edward, or visit Edward's website.