In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Malice in the Mirror:  Through a Suburban Looking Glass

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Who am I to play the ponderous observer, 
sitting here on the patio of a plush restaurant, 
having eaten an overpriced salad, 
imagining my calories sumptuously slide by 
in smug gustatory content, 
and getting buzzed on craft beer 
while watching suburban life pass, 
above the plashy roar of a flawless fountain? 
This is not LA. 
This is not a methadone withdrawal 
or a return to the streets 
after the sync of incarceration’s rhythm. 
This is a frightening freedom squandered by the free.
You are not free.  
You and I walk in tremulous chains, 
cybernetically sealed to another, 
the system, 
the great opaque that wants to nail us 
gripped to rusted metal and splintered wooden cross 
of slamming bars and broken people, 
dragged down the rabbit hole 
of small minded manicured degradation 
and gargantuan monstrous hate.  
I want to scream at them as they stroll by, 
selfies for two underneath the fountain:  
You don’t know what seethes beneath you, 
around you; 
everywhere there is misery abounding!  
The ignorance of bliss astounds me.  
I was there.  
I have returned there.  
What can I do to keep them a’wing, 
those born to suffer and cycle their lives 
through bars and pain and hurt, 
knowing nothing but blind beatings 
of bedraggled flightless wings, 
rejection and disengagement, 
love lost and forlorn, 
never gaining a step ahead of themselves?  
Desperate yowling dogs hound me, 
howling out my name–Impostor.  
I hear it and cower, 
hiding beneath the blankets of my lonely comfort 
of a solitary bed in the safety of my unkempt room 
like the mind of its inhabitant, 
overgrown wilderness, 
unattended, 
abandoned.  
I want to transcend but cannot muster it.  
I see the will in its distant form.  
I feel the stirrings.  
I smell smoke and I cave, 
whipped with carcinogenic wickedness.  
I cannot contain myself.  
And thus, 
I am not the wrong target 
for systematized paralyzed equalized 
misfortune of the sick and tired, 
the sick and poor, 
the sick of it all.

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