Which Is How We Like It

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Listen.
Are you listening?
I mean really listening,
not just hearing,
which is too often
how we use the word.
The sloshed aurora
is slurring its speech again,
and again, as before,
we’re in the position
of having to decipher its meaning
from what little clues
we’ve been given.
A breakthrough occurs,
but not in the usual way,
the way of burning revelations –
crucial indications
of a hidden truth
that would leave
your mouth gaping
at its being revealed.
No – our lips are sealed.
The weight of your stare
plummets into my own,
making known its intention
in a protracted way,
and the red warmth
eddies into its antithesis.
It’s a symbolic exchange,
a shadow thrown over
a thing whose details
are too damn ugly
to view straight on.
Makes the thing sweeter,
easier to digest,
which is how we like it,
as opposed to chewing
the spikes of its actual form.
This has become the norm.
So much sweetness
that I’m starting to worry
about cavities.
My stomach has need
of a little depravity,
and suddenly,
I’m no longer satisfied
with any of the so-called
simple pleasures.
Isn’t this how we measure
ourselves? In our capacity
to treasure say the scent
of a flower or a casual dinner
with friends? In the end,
we tell ourselves,
these are what matter.
They help us through
the bullshit, chaos and clatter
in which each day is personified.

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