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April 15, 2024


By Ian Mullins


No, I don’t hate you
for what you’ve done to me.
The back-stabbing, the lies,
the whispering in corners
are all par for the particular course
you keep. I expect nothing better
from you; which is perhaps
the most damning indictment
of all. But what I really hate
is what you’ve made me do
to myself. All those wasted nights
when I should have been dreaming
of a life worth dreaming about
spent waking and turning, wet-eyed
and shivering with sweat.
Instantly awake and daylight thinking;
not how best to use the hours
scraped back from your service,
but how many I can sacrifice
to hold your judgment at bay.

But all night long
I hear a small true voice delirious
with rage. Why, he asks,
are you doing this to yourself?
The only power they have
is the power you grant them. All they offend
is your ego; think how contented
you would be
without that mewing baby
constantly demanding to be fed.

And you know it’s true
but you know it’s a lie.
My body likes to be fed too.

And it demands a warm bed
where the stars are only winking
because they look through
rain on the glass. And who is it
they are seeing? A little man
with big dreams
that will not pay the rent.

Article © Ian Mullins. All rights reserved.
Published on 2023-01-09
Image(s) are public domain.
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