All or nothing

In a room filled with straw
I eat nugget after nugget
of salt. I work all night
to fill the urns with corn.
I was promised deliverance
and if not, my undoing.
Wasn’t it the same
for my forbears?
O daybreak, and the constant
putrefaction made by cows
in the field. I am wide-
eyed. I get by on four
hours of sleep and swigs
of hard black coffee.
A door opens when they
remember to check if I
am still in here, still
alive; if there is anything
I’ve made that might be
worth trading. And I’m
a genius— But when did my
opinions ever matter? TBH
I prefer living by myself.
I think of the industry
of bees and what they know:
culling every last bit
of sweetness from unseemly
sources, carefully hoarding
their one barbed sting.


In response to Via Negativa: In absentia.

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