i lay two versions of myself
on page.
on opposing pages
there are two of my wholes:
one
ripe,
the other
rotting.

every day
i pick one
in small increments, absorb their essence
become either
perfection
or fault.

the question was not
to take a bite of each,
and decide how they were part of me,
in what, and why;
it was to feel horrible
for biting into rot.
for wanting rot.
for being rot.

as if rot
were the only determining taste.
as if rot cannot be spiced away,
brined, pickled, grilled —
as if
there was something wrong
for having sat in the sun
and soaked up its rays
for too long,
for having warmed my meat
with others bodies,
for existing longer
than others think you should
for wanting
and wanting
and wanting things that
don’t always serve you.

i am learning
that grade 11 philosophy class
didn’t teach me everything i needed
about human nature.
about how sometimes
aiming for perfection
does not make you more perfect
and how becoming more
perfect
does not always
make you happier.

how there is
a revelling in my gut
when i make the (wrong) choice
that i was told
will not make me better:
drink too much, kiss the wrong people,
yell, spend too much money on
a one-time-thing. linger in bed
tracing someone’s skin. skip work.
how good it feels to climb down
from the pedestal,
to chip away at its anchors,
to choose, and survive,
and choose again,
sometimes better,
other times
worse.

how delicious secrets can be
tucked away under the tongue,
making my mouth water
for all the things i have yet to taste.

Photo credit: Chris Arnade on Flickr

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One thought on “the pomegranate and the ashtray

Gripe here!

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