05 February, 2012

On Saturn Devouring His Son

 by Francisco Goya
Enlightenment, sometimes it feels like this.
So visceral, the denial of ascendance.
So guttural, the need to protect.
We were taught, early on in the school yards –
eat or be eaten. Beat or be beaten.
Everyone likes the show, wants to see blood,
wants to see tears, hear the cries of the defeated.

Soon it becomes a daily gauntlet.
Each day, we walk through the fire.
Each day, we sharpen our appetite.
There is no shortage of fires,
no end to our appetites.

On Sundays, we learned to pray for our souls
and clean our teeth on unleavened bread.
Control enough. Love enough. Hate enough.
Dream and dream and dream. In our dreams
we grow wings, take flight, find the face of god,
kiss the supple breasts of angels.
The tunnel of light, just one more birth canal
on the path of eternal return.

Growth, sometimes it feels like this.
We are taught very young –
there are appropriate places to cry.
Otherwise, be a man. Bear it up
with the leathery wings of a demon.
Bear it up, swallow it down
and gorge wide-eyed on our own hearts
even while it beats within the chest cavity.