Hajj

I think God has a cruel sense of humor.

Because when I turned eleven and pleaded with all my might to become immortal,

I heard Him chuckle in the confides of the newly blackened space

And He snuffed me out like a candle with a

“I don’t think so, kiddo.”

But he never gave me my wish back…

So I keep asking for it, every year, because maybe He’s testing me.

Maybe I have to dedicate an entire lifetime

to asking for immeasurable lifetimes.

But after eight failed attempts of asking on your birthday to never die,

you get a bit impatient…

 

So I tried looking for another god –

I heard the Jew’s God let flames burn for longer than expected

during prayer within weathered temporal lobes

Maybe if I pray to him, I’ll never die.

Or maybe if I prove to Buddha with promises cut from rib bones

through which modest poverty has shown

that I am the reincarnation of him, he’ll let me remember

where all this bottled-up wisdom came from –certainly from past lives.

Maybe he’d exempt me from this whole Nirvana business –

maybe I’d come back as a cow.

I wasn’t wishing for Heaven when I was eleven;

didn’t want something normal like a puppy.

All I wanted was more time.

 

And now... my birthday candles are offered matchsticks

to light bong bowls for the soulless

and God won’t snuff me out this time.

My confetti is changing leaves and passing seasons

crunching beneath my feet.

And my birthday cake is baked,

with something a little more special than a mother’s love –

if you know what I mean.

Prufrock may have measured his life in coffee spoons

but these faithless friends of mine measure theirs by the grams and ounces.

I’m contemplating a hundred decisions and indecisions,

all before the taking of a trashed friend from a party

Counting all of his potential losses, lost potential,

Doubling my own cognitive processing.

My brain is a maze of street lamps of

shattered light bulb thoughts.

 

I’ve calculated I’m eight years older than what I appear to be

See, God’s funny – he’s aged my soul for each year

I wished to be freed from his and Mother Nature’s grasps.

When I turn twenty, I will, no doubt,

rattle with subtle chain smoker’s rasp

from screaming out too much poetry

And all this passion will leave my breast

as shriveled as prunes, as dried raisins in the sun.

I’ll only produce the most bitter of unopened wine.

 

Will Jesus come back to turn ocean shores into vineyards,

the way my conscious has coiled around my prefrontal cortex,

protesting change and yet liquefying under peer pressure?

Adrenaline rushes and dopamine doses

more deserving of attention,

screaming at my cerebellum

a discourse of fear, or pleasure –

Do I dare to endeavor?

 

When my faith fails me,

and my hippocampus turns over the film of my memories:

B-list films of my could not’s, did not’s,

with God as some avant garde director

who doesn’t make a lick of sense,

I’m unable to distinguish fact from fiction.

 

I’m no brain surgeon, but it appears to be

that we are masters of our own lobotomies.

If these friends of mine are so content with sprinkling

their sliced peaches with hash instead of sugar,

then let me forgo those saccharine tastes.

I won’t waste another brain cell or neural connection

fearing objections, won’t be compelled to

erase goals untold or dreams deferred.

Let their “cannot”s be my “can do”s

When I see a peach, I snatch it and devour it whole

Never mind the pit or its bitter aftertaste

You’re all “YOLO”s and Harlem Shakes

And I’m singing dead poetry’s obituary from book cemeteries

and winding up mechanical watches for remaining seconds on life’s stage.

Weren’t we meant to evolve beyond the Stone Age

Yet I find I’m one of few resolved to condone

Letting our lives defuse, tic-tic-tick away

Is your reticular formation to blame

for you sleeping through this duration of your life,

or is it your lack of motivation?

 

I’ve summed up all my losses and energies misused

to come to this revelation you will, no doubt, refuse:

You may fester like a sore, and puss with lost potential

I do not need any god’s differential indifference

nor your sidetracking ounces and grams.

I do not dare drown in human voices of doubt

or sag under this heavy load.

I dare to rasp

I dare to disturb

Even with this shortening fuse,

I dare to explode.

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