Oh but the things he worries about
and the silent wars he’s fighting
all in his head
with no chance of ever winning
and sooner or later
every ceasefire gets broken
Fretting so about
these itchy atoms and molecules falling over everything
here even in this inner sanctum
he swears he can hear them drop
the particles of dirt from the world that won’t stay out
the epidural traces smeared on every little thing
the remnants of whoever’s passed through
He can’t make it clean enough
no matter how much vacuuming
no matter how much bleach
He could almost hear the books and keepsakes
on the shelves decomposing
if not for the ringing in his ears
can’t stand the jagged voices
from a whole life echoing in his brain
all day             all night
impossible to rest or shut them off
growing ever more tense and just can’t let it go
pressure building       
Sits on his bed
rehashing all the affronts    all the ridicule
he can neither forgive nor forget
forming two tight fists            blood rising
goes back to polishing his gun
counting and recounting all the bullets
and wonders till dawn about these questions
who’s wearing the pants in this relationship anyway
why’s he have to take this
where could his wife have gone         how dare her anyway
and whatever happened to the dream
can’t quite figure out how to deal with any of it
how and when to quiet it all down
on whom
to take out all this wrath
On those unlucky enough to have ever gotten in his way
on the lost soul looking back from this mirror
Or both.


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