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To Ruin It

If life is to end tonight,
if lights are to mean no
more to me than meat
and potatoes after this evening,

then why should I worry
about meekness or madness
or strength or nausea?
Yes, maybe I have a

million more nights, again.
To worry is hell. It’s funny,
but I never really counted
all of my many nights so far.

OK, then, let’s all worry our
empty heads off! Just to make
us feel better, we’ll cry, too.
Oh, but lights won’t come at

you, will they? Don’t ask me
if I want to die. You’re
crazy to think that I’d give
away my secret! OK, then,

answer me. Do you want to
live? Foolish question, foolish
question, I know. But is truth
that hard to come by? Sure,

you’re all right now, you say,
and who am I to disagree?
Just because Greeks and Romans
lived once before, do I have

to choose one to write here?
Or anywhere, for that matter?
They’re dead and I don’t even
remember them. Then what

in god’s name are they in
Poe’s poetry for? Was the man
crazy? You live now and
you are in my poetry. Oh,

don’t you want to be? OK,
then, you are absent from
the rest of this writing. I
am alone, here, now. Maybe

I’m dead and I don’t know
it. How exciting-like little
children on their first journey
of any distance. They always ask

the question, “When will we get
there?” OK, then, where am I
going? Nope, not dead, unless
dead birds sing. I’m not deaf.

COPYRIGHT 2000 by Michael Bonanno
LOC Reg. #TXu 934-647

Reproduction of “To
Ruin It” or any part
therein without the express
written consent of Michael
Bonanno, is prohibited,
except in “fair use” cases

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                                                                                                                               (and some other assorted foolish verses)