The urge to reel back, to retreat into what once was:
I have experienced the film just under the varnish of the present peeling back,
rotting like an unwashed scab.
Fear makes this rattling noise under my eyes,
but there is more to it than that.
I am unsure of the path, and that uncertainty,
answering to it,
inventing ways to dance with it,
is what I seldom remember is the true, encompassing path
for any truth-seeker.
The rest of my flesh should be enough of a force to surround and engulf the pieces
where the doubt has pierced through.
I think of my flesh as a graph of the resistance, the bleeding is a dying nationalism.
My good bacteria is eating it whole with microscopic fangs
and hearts. The recovery is the discipline
but today I address where my mind seeks to feed the blisters
while I work at the law center,
learning about scraps of disability income,
about prison guards wrapping plastic bags over the segregated and mentally ill
just to remind them of the silence they are bound to
should they dare whisper through a letter.
Wishing to work mindlessly again, to work with my friends,
to laugh through this learning, to have life as it was
before the harshness of now.
And I have given it away to myself, again: I have the choice
to step out of the sickness which,
much like the truth of the path, is the symptom of the bigger sickness:
that some of us have this choice
while others are completely condemned,
body, spirit, voice, by a lack of it.