Here’s what I’m thinking now
at the end of the world:
If knowledge is power,
and power corrupts,
then why did I bother reading you, Cicero?
Besides, the tortoise will get us all
hare or no hair.
Does it matter that I don’t love you?
Would it matter if I did?
There’s a poetry reading tonight
whence I’ll chide other poets
who don’t sit alone.
I won’t bring up death
but I might have to breathe,
maybe even into a mic
and mouth lines to get a snap or a boo
better would be a wince or two.
Just maybe I’ll talk about love
and how following my heart is like following a dog—
it only leads to bacon and bitches.
But how many times have I used that line
since the story I wrote about you,
a witty and tempting and fictional you?
Most likely I’ll read something tonight about you.
I won’t recite it from memory
because I don’t think about you that much anymore,
not even when I search for my socks in your drawers
or when I wear the sweaters you buy for me,
horizontally striped to bring out my eyes?
I don’t remember your eyes
except that they’re blue.
And I don’t remember you.
Not even when I smell banana bread,
or when I roll onto your side of the bed
or when you bolt through the door
and tell me you love me.
Even then I don’t remember you.
Does it matter that I can’t love you?
Would it have mattered if I could?
How about a few one-liners
for the end of days?—
Depression is self-awareness,
which you’d know if you were:
I need Ritalin to listen to you,
Lithium to talk to you,
Viagra to touch you,
and Valium to sleep.
All you need
is me waiting at home
with turns of phrase and word plays
telling you about why I hate Ayn Rand
but want to buy as much as I can
and how I love celebrity gossip
and loathe poetry slams
and find rhyming trite
except when I am.
Hypocrites can still be right,
which you do understand
because you grin at my lies
about fighting the man.
But now, at the end of all things—
I’m speechless and pointless and hopelessly well-read,
and you’re just sitting there, smiling
asking me to pass the bread.