So, there with an elixir
Made of all that couldn’t mix
A vial full of colors so bereft of any picture
That I’d painted or beheld
Or in dependency compelled
To be liniment was nothing but a fix

And shaking it to cause it to appear
As though it could combine all the opaque and all the clear
To merge into a serum that my blood could thus adhere
But by the time the needle drew single, solitary drop the mixture that should be would disappear

By slowest calculation
Of the many moving parts
Constituent ingredients
Arranged by separation
Like the chambers and the valves of any heart
They offered no obedience
Within the circulation
Of the sanguinary circuits that I tried, but couldn’t chart

So passing any passiveness of pointed introspection
And seeing in a mirror made of mercury, reflections
That made me wonder why I cared to prove a safe connection
When in truth it wasn’t truth that I was hoping to behold from the injection


Could I become the reason why
There’s something more to wake and choose to find
With fingers curling slowly on a blade that none could pry
…are reasons really good enough to sever or to justify the bind?

I wonder, all the same,
If it was shame or just a name
Or just an answer that I needed
So that something fully realized could shield me from the blame as I retreated

Believing, there in diffidence,
Were isolated islands in an ocean made of beads
And there, within a sky I knew was painted cold in insolence
…I tried to be the reason I continued drawing breath through broken reeds

Peculiar, in a sense,
That each lament was mere pretense
And that, with fingers slowly curling
’round the blade I feared to hold, I simply called it self-defense instead of calling it reality unfurling


That mandatory whisper with a voice devoid of breath
Left speaking of tomorrow as if yesterday was death
And curling little fingers ’round the fallacies of truth
To cast a shadow of our age upon our youth

With minatory meaning and a sharpness in a glance
That says the gamble made was never really worth the chance
But beckoning statistics that would beg of our belief
As if a tonic for a wound of no relief

In predatory fashion with a hunger never full
And gifting every eye apparel made from heavy wool
Though telling us to see beyond the veil of new demand
Solidifying not a bit of what we planned

By auditory absence of a confirmation’s note
To grant a revelation from a cycle duly rote
With empty affirmations written on the page of could
Are we inscribing many stories ‘neath the never-ending tyranny of should