Ostensibly Numb

Natalie Shau

Natalie Shau

I need to believe

That there is something

Inside still salvageable

Some overlooked heart fragment

Still red, ripe, and pumping

Some hint of the original

So that without

Too much embellishment

I can say

I am still myself,

At least the parts

Worthy of presentation.

 

I thought it was okay to die,

My right to step into the war

And come out again

A hero, in a discreet box

Adorned with some flag.

A picture of you perhaps?

(The one who murders

Has the right to confiscate

My body, having emptied

The suit for deployment)

 

I have thwarted evolution

My component fibers

Coarse as burlap

Settle in the gut

Like a mutiny

Of bewitched caterpillars

They chew the binding

Of all my diaries

That not a letter arrives

In the order of consignment

 

My self-improvement efforts

Are much too clinical,

They don’t leave much space

For living, only doing

And I’ve done enough

To earn the title of Sisyphus.

A visit to the anesthesiologist

Will keep me ostensibly numb

Numb as a glacier passing

From ship to ship,

An eviscerating tower

Unalterable in its contacts

 

The less we know

The more encompassing

The excuse

I live to pilfer

If you possess it

Why shouldn’t I?

And if I am you

Than I’ve no reason

To acknowledge my roots

Those obscene snares

Which remind me

Of the refuse

From which I rose

 

No I’d rather be you

That I can remain pristine

A Goddess, infallible,

Untouchable, reduced to ash

In the eyes of unscrupulous mortals

Yes I’d rather be death

In a human disguise

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17 responses to “Ostensibly Numb

  1. KILLER

    first
    he
    killed
    the
    butterflies
    then
    spiders
    bugs
    and
    such
    he
    killed
    much
    larger
    animals
    it
    still
    was
    not
    enough
    finally
    in
    his
    great
    unrest
    the
    man
    killed
    one
    that
    he
    loved
    best
    and
    put
    her
    on
    the
    wall
    you
    see
    and
    all
    he
    thought
    was
    good
    for
    me

  2. Great poem, wise and raw words!.
    “The less we know/ The more encompassing
    The excuse”
    Thanks for sharing and all the very best to you!,
    Aquileana 😀

  3. Another brilliant and evocative piece Yves – so much power and depth to your words.

    This stanza is brilliant: My component fibers / Coarse as burlap / Settle in the gut / Like a mutiny / Of bewitched caterpillars / They chew the binding / Of all my diaries

    etc. Such a wonderfully unique perspective and description 😀

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