Doubt

by jdavidcharles

It starts first in subtler
ways, suspect of the arms
as they pull out from under
you, doubting from the
get-go these two wobbly
things called ‘legs’ can
really carry you at all,
wondering whose they are
even—next you doubt them,
of course, whether or not
their sense of security is
that at all or something
entirely else, you begin
dismissing the words they
use, words like ‘not yours’
or ‘bad, bad, bad,’ until
you outright don’t listen
altogether. Soon you’re
doubting people you’ve
heard of, the tooth-fairy
or Santa Clause for instance
until you move right on
to doubting the very structure
of things as you know them,
the so-called grander words
like ‘god’ or ‘saint,’ things
which can’t be ‘real’ you say,
until you find yourself
in more complicated
situations, whether or
not his portrayal of the
Kennedy’s or Oscar Wilde
is ‘real’ for instance, you
start doubting the poet
or poem—who wants to live
in a world where the poem
is ‘real’ after all, what with
the sort of responsibility
that entails, ‘who wants
that kind of world’ you say,
casting aside equally the capital-‘N’
novel alongside the night you
finally told her or him what
you did and how you cried
and cried and couldn’t speak
another word, no point in
remembering now all those
terrifyingly not so real things
you said and did to those
you loved or said you loved,
no point in saying that name
you nearly forgot too that felt
like so many strands of cotton
candy when perched on
your pursed lips, better to
let these things be unreal for
awhile, to close your eyes and
realize reality is something that
happens, that you have so little
to contribute, and begin to enjoy
something of these pleasures.

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