It feels a little like
Christmas as a toddler—if you were
just begging for
a little more self-consciousness.
It's as if you realized early on
a good night's rest could work
much better as a sacrifice
to the kind of divinity you believed in.
It's reminiscent of the time
back in school
you had actually studied
but never got tested on the material—
the calculus devised by
Newton and Leibniz, meant to pulverize
the smooth curves of existence
into a fine dust of fractions
which of course you couldn't keep
from inhaling; after that
you found your own lungs had grown
worse at filtering unrarified air.
Now it greets you surreptitiously
like someone who doesn't know you,
as if you really needed this new way
to suffer, another name for the flu.
The disorientation causes you
to swoon, forget your own name,
fall back and then band
together with the rest
of the nameless populace
bearing witness to clear and
certain experience, instead of just
its tenuous first-personness.