Did you cry when you watched your mother open the yellow paper
permitting your absence from the world?
Did you care for the little girl who got lost on the street
when her mom turned to laugh at the charming bellboy?
Have your ears ever felt hotter?
The cold weather is inviting constant talk about war and revolution,
because gas prices have never been this high,
and weed has never been more accessible.
Ground yourself in the fact that you cannot belong to the world anymore.
You wonder why, if your ears grow hot, you must excuse yourself
from the white-sheeted dinner conversation and
the white-sheeted beds that you grew so lonely in.
You wonder why your grave is whitewashed and why
the newspaper obituaries are bleached before being filthied with ink.
Can you remember the last time you kissed her under the dim lamp glow
of a Toronto cafe?
Can you recall the way the moonlight danced in her eyes as she smiled
through oceans of questions and anxieties?
You’ve been swimming for her for so long. And now you’ve left her to drown.
But then why does she laugh so loudly at the train station?
Why does she pack her bags so eagerly to escape?
Are you crying yet?
You’re wondering why you’re not supposed to belong to the world anymore
if you are expected to cry still.
But emotion and existence are abstract nouns that are not confined to Earth.
For that matter, nothing matters on Earth, its sole sun, it’s mere one moon.
You are not a being on a world that walks through train stations and cafes;
you are not a being that is bleached and then filthied with gossip and ‘news’ that is as old as the Bible.
Yet you still feel the comfort of a purring cat laying next to a frigid body
warmed only by knits your grandmother gifted to you when you were
still hopeful that the world would never give your mom the grief she now bears.
How can this be so? you wonder. Because wonder is an abstract noun, too.
The worst part of this – and don’t get me wrong, this is all pretty shitty –
is that you’re not dead.
You are in fact alive, and that is the most existential conspiracy of them all.