on not becoming bitter

I was warned. So are you. The following poem is “personal” and may even be considered, by some, “private.”
Of course, I come to disbelieve the utility of these concepts more and more. They are a convenient boundary to locate meaning in the other, distancing self from responsibility and foreclosing awareness of co-construction. Nonetheless, my own culpability reeks.

My friends said
dogs in heat
red placemats waving
it’s not about you.
but it was.
scabs ripped open, wounds exposed, historical pain overwhelming
present possibility. Unconditional capacity for love
mocked, perverted
it’s all about you.
and it isn’t.

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