At the cafe, the waiter takes my order
before I even open my mouth. At a nearby

table, two women are talking, their heads
close together; one of them is weeping

quietly. Are you all right,
her friend says. The other nods.

For a long time I could not tell what
was real and what was a lie: variations.

Once I was afraid of the world and its
long hands, its love of bones. There is

no cure for the oldest of afflictions: burning
in the cold with the desire to be consumed.


In response to Via Negativa: Against certainty.

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