The Privilege of Knowing


Unwashed hands cupping
broken bands of light,
the subtle interplay of color
against this swollen backdrop.

The blacktop extends farther
than the eyes can reach,
the beach dips silently
beneath the sea.

None so cautious as we,
tethered to these nether-
regions with the tenacity
of a splinter of wood

nestled under the initial layer of skin.
The players are all useless,
wiped out and anxious,
wringing blue from tonight’s damp fabric.

The fabricated friction warms
only the slightest of heads,
and where the street dead ends,
we’ll get our answer there.

We came armed with a burning air,
chests up, raging
against social hierarchies
and the concept of disease.

And when these failed
to garner any appeal,
the game rearranged.
The changes, marginal,

hoisted like dusty pennants
upon the mast of our dissatisfaction.
The sense of my shoes
losing traction, and inaction

smoldering in the sheets.
And of course, the rain became sleet
in the bitterness. Whatever
is left over is ours to keep,

and we keep what distracts us.
Compilations of facts,
picture pop stars,
anecdotes and allegories,

the histories of lost cultures.
A coven of vultures hovers above
the carrion field, hunger tinting
their feathers, and now

we’re unsure on whether or not
to proceed. What happens
when the strength of the need

outweighs simple logic?
Will we be given the privilege of knowing?

-r. miller


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