free verse

Living is for this

I have emptied myself too perfectly
of every last childhood reminiscing to be alive,
and as each raindrop falls onto my tin roof,
I am drifting further out to sea
on the puddles welling up in my front lawn
and on the water filling the potholes of my long driveway,
and soon the grass will be completely underwater
and I will walk barefoot through the mud
and let earth push itself between my toes
so that I can feel how the earthworms live.
I have emptied my self of my humanity,
and I don’t want it back because
as I was dreaming while lightning broke the night sky open,
the devil came to me in my sleep
and told me that he tried to cry out
and leave every trace of horror behind
and live in paradise and destroy himself
and care for nothing but the patterns of monarch butterfly wings
but life held him back because what are we
without something to struggle against?
But I am done with suffering.
I have turned in my ticket to the afterlife,
and I have renounced all my humanity
that was tied up in every moral wishing for better
because I am done struggling
against every unseen evil that lies nascent
in the sharp stones of my driveway –
the evils that lie waiting underneath
the tongues of the eight-year-olds
who have known too much for their age
and will let it all loose
when the adults have left to commit their own sins,
but I have emptied myself of the concept of sin.
I give up my guilt.
Guilt is for nothing.
Guilt is for making us feel like we cannot be human,
and so I have given up on being human.
Let me be an animal without words.
Let me live with my toes in the mud.
But oh my God,
how I love to sing.

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