Sometimes I look at myself
in the words I write and wonder
how I came to be the way
I am, how anger transformed into
an active volcano, how
compassion blossomed into
an embrace of the downtrodden.
I read the words I write, the words
that once clawed at the doors
of dark cellars inside me but
then escaped, and I wonder
whether I should have struggled
harder to keep them in their cages where
only I can hear their muffled sounds.
I wonder if the words I write
shaped this man, whose fingers
stab the keyboard as if enraged by
the mere existence of letters and
words, this man whose tears fall
at the slightest provocation and
at the most inopportune times.
There are times I look at the words I write
and wonder whether those words
belong to me or were placed on the
page by a barbarous fiend whose
perverse fingers, sharp and dangerous,
take delight in using the letters of the
alphabet as cudgels and words as weapons.
On occasion, I look at the words I write
and think they might owe their birth to
goodness and idealism, honor, and
obedience to visions of humanity that
proclaim the inherent value of unity,
the wisdom of collective efforts toward
good works and peaceful productivity.
When I look at the words I write,
I wonder who shaped the man I am,
this cognitive dichotomy in vivid colors
and shades of black and gray. Did this
angelic demon emerge from the hands
of an artist or the mind of a monster or
simply from the words I write?
[This was poem #12 of the 30/30 for National Poetry Month]