Confines

Do you resent the poem for its form?
The chorus for coming home?
A shackled lover freed from
The monotony of his week?
A soldier for following orders, or
The bureaucrat true to procedure
For holding up the line?
Do you resent the tide for its retreat?
Your babies for their sleep?
The story for its ending
Or the punchline in the joke?
There’s a structure to the play,
The sentence, thought, phone call.
Sure form confines, but it also frees.
Chained to your language,
Patterns of thoughts and sounds.
“Free” yourself from form and you’ll
Find yourself locked inside your head
Condemned alone in a world hurdling,
On this star-track with everyone else:
Confined to a rock unchosen,
Our most basic commonality.
You didn’t choose to be,
Where to be, even
Who to be.
But now you deal with your constraints.
A bullet in the head can’t change
The rise and tide in your veins:
You were not,
You are,
You will be no longer.

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