Volume 31, Number 4

Waiting to Live

Systems, the labyrinth pathways
were all in working order except
some functions got lost or broke
down, a mortal prognosis. Meanwhile

we keep at it: hearts
that could be octopi sweaters;
having at least eight sleeves
& full with the need
of feeling all that asks
to be touched.

Would selfishness be more easily contained:
the ego doing its arrogant cock-strut
yet never wholly embracing a thing?

Everyone else does it

is the chant, the chant of
the twisting, mirrored paths,
looking good while indicting
or skirting the details
making the flow go
for those in the camera pose
of their important best interests.

Many will die while the others are at it,
many, apparently waiting, though knowing
their lives

are worth more.

—Stephen Mead