Sometimes I look at the stars and just smile

Now, some of us aren’t prophets and barely
balance on these tightropes, often without elegance

We’re not ascetics who walk away from it all
and surround ourselves with the beauty of nature
because we know she isn’t ethereal

We weren’t born in tough, penury-ridden
neighborhoods where the sound of the skillet
meant everything, and do not speak of
truths we’ve not lived

We’re not veterans who’ve seen bloodstained
cruelty: corpses just as distorted
as the cacophony of glass shattering,
an irritating car horn played on repeat,
and pneumatic drills, remixed
into a ‘delightful tune’ if you’re into that sort of thing.

We don’t see celestial figures dancing
around us at night,
because of the muses that burn in our veins.
Please check for punctures, friend. It’s heroin.

But we’ve seen enough, and know that men
who call themselves feminists objectify
or stereotype women in their minds.

We’ve seen enough to know that men who
fast and preach non-violence end up having their
faces on a coin (and vice versa).

We’ve seen enough to know that the cause never
saved people, simply because it is as finite as the
men who instigate it, and we don’t have to
coat Murphy’s law with academic jargon
and stretch it into metaphysics.
Let those who do take their bows and win
their prizes.

But paradoxically, what some of us say becomes truth,
and then falling from the tightrope and bruised, we
seek nature just to get away but find no solace,
then starving we suffer and beg for the sound of the skillet
before fate butchers us, and we’re dog bitten corpses
with sardonic smiles on our faces.

Are those smiles one of victory or defeat?

You decide

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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