A poem

ABILENE PARADOX

I pride myself on knowing when to quit,

Feeling my age, touching nails to teeth,

As I silently perform,

Appendectomies of inequality,

Cutting out the useless bits,

Trusting in fear to put trust before pride.

Remembering when we still asked for it by the half-ounce,

I roll another cigarette, and smoke it quick,

Or else I chew gum to be rid of the stains,

Listening to new music to achieve the same,

My music is torchlight,

pointed the wrong way.

We associated chewing gum with America more,

Back then, when it was banned from our school,

Like cigarettes and democracy,

Even girls too – an imbalanced equation,

Your Carthaginian empire is an elephant in the room,

I’m alone thanks to you.

Naked, in the bath, I trace the razor around my lips,

Along my jaw-line, from apex to ear-tips,

Up and down my neck, cheeks and chin,

Over and over, ‘til I look younger again.

In the foetal position, I attempt full submersion,

Too big for the bathtub,

Too small for the ocean.

Last night I sensed the present centre of your anxiety

And shook it out of you, from the hips,

Intuitively I scratch your skin,

For we trap poisons, not happy endings.

They’ve put the clocks back again,

A tidal time shift, that goes back before my time,

Immune to the chemicals in my eyes,

To branding, and technological advances,

I look to gain advantage,

To use that hour,

Every hour,

To the end of my days.

Copyright © Joel Rowan Morgan, 2012

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