Between Extremes


Men receive blow after blow for their beliefs
whether they want them or no.
Soon, sooner than any man wants,
they will pound nails into him
excoriate him
peel the flesh from him
so slowly it will take him days to notice
and toss vinegar into his wounds for good measure.

That is his lesson in perspective
the changing of his viewpoint for him
the collision of two worlds
both of them painful in their birthing.

The first is transgressive, dark & malign
let us call it hyper-real;
a man bearded & bloodied
tied to a column of debts.
He mutters continually to himself,
“I am afraid to fall down,
but I refuse to give in.”

The other world is calm,
monstrously so,
the tranquility of the landscape
marred only by the freakishly soft,
the tender so sweet it causes toothache,
the fragile trust of youth
drifting toward the deviant.

And no matter the man, or the times,
he is always walking
somewhere between one or the other.

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