The Poet's Curse

Location

you cannot go 

anywhere

without finding something

that floods your veins

 

you cannot look at

anyone

without wondering

if their family is dysfunctional

or Thanksgiving special worthy, how

they like their eggs, how long 

it's been since someone told

them they love them, and how long

it's been since they believed them

you wonder about their every

idiosyncrasy, how many

smiles they have and how many

are real

you wonder about every little

microscopic detail of their lives,

the brush strokes that complete

the masterpiece

you are fascinated by

their eulogy

 

you cannot do

anything

without the knowledge that

nobody sees it exactly the same 

way you do, and no matter

how hard you try or how long

you talk, no other perspective will ever

completely be yours,

because there are as many

perspectives in the universe

as there are stars, and each 

son and daughter has their own

little sliver of reality, entirely

unidentical to everyone else's

And there are details that you

will never know, not because

it's a secret, but just because

they've forgotten or they think 

it's too mediocrely unimportant to

mention, or perhaps they just think you're

unimportant, although your sliver

is just as big as theirs

 

This is the poet's curse,

although I believe it is both

a blessing and a curse

to feel everything so deeply

 

In a masquerade of I'm fines,

we search for eyes with stars like ours,

because misunderstanding is easier 

than loneliness, and human compassion

is supposed to be common

There are those of us who are

broken, those who are breaking, 

and those who pretend they're neither

That is humanity's secret:

no one escapes unscathed

 

Some people refuse to realize

that the universe is bigger than

they are, and so they litter life

with scars disguised as lipstick

kiss prints (because lipstick and blood

are both red, and a lot of people

can't tell the difference)

Those of us who can

give ourselves away

until we are out of layers,

out of secrets, and covered

in scars  

(perhaps

that is why

we understand so well)

 

We are broken, bleeding,

and often destroyed, 

and all because we know 

their stories too well 

to destroy them first

 

This is the poet's curse,

although I believe it is both

a blessing and a curse

to feel everything so deeply

 

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