There Is No Mandela Here

My tired, nearly blind

eyes have seen too much.  I’ve seen


processions of corpses. Lists of dead

friends I started keeping at age thirteen


have scrolled out taped together as far as suburban

sprawl can see with syringe precision. So many


nights, steaming floods would fill ears, as the mouse

traps snap any stillness out of the synapses


misfiring in tandem from my head to toes

in a sudden jerk of fear. The only food


in the fridge has maggots.  It’s still better

to have a place for an appliance with maggots


than no place for it at all.  Better than pressing

swollen eyes and runny noses into the same


spot on the nasty cot so many have done

the same on, it is better to have something


to call your own even with with maggots. Aging is

getting the better of my eyes, they are weary


from having seen too much. Every word is blurred

from my sight. I can still visualize letters and fonts


in my mind as my fingers guide me toward a space

I make for myself.  Maybe, my eyes no longer need


sight to see. My fingers know

the keys well enough now I don’t have


to ever look at the blinding white of the stark:

that blank emptiness.  I unpack in silence.  My head


bowed, almost in shame of not wanting to tire

my eyes again.  Wearied by the knowledge I have


chosen to use them for. Knowing too much

is a thing which is the thing plaguing my eyes. My eyes


have seen the worst of humanity.  The arrogant, ignorant

faces of wealth and power.  It’s true I met DeKlerk.


I wiped my hand on my pant leg as fast as I let go

of his weak grip.


1 Comment

  1. A most intense poem. my friend.

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