Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Poem: "After Only So Much" by Alan Lisanti

After Only So Much
by Alan Lisanti


I wasn't ready for
the unanticipated consequences
that riddled my existence
since that one dawn
where clarity shone so bright
it was simply undeniable

That to be subjected to such torment
would undoubtedly devolve
into me as a shadow of myself
Less than a shadow even

Like a ghost with no reflection
The frantic search for what
slowly but surely became invisible,
both to her and the rest of this world,
and my own perception
was all that was left after the fall

Dissolved in every rubix cubed conundrum
Scattered across spaces so vast
All without ever stepping back into the sunlight
that still illuminated every facet of life
beyond that prison

And like a collector,
I traveled and scoured the edges of this planet
Overturned every rock
Investigated all the unknown crevices
With eyes that became spotlights
So as to be like a beaming light
To where nothing hidden could stay that way

Desperate measures were fueled by desire
And that desire, for redemption,
was the only thing stronger
than my will to take
such tactical and concentrated actions
Along the way, with wisdom gained,
some were placed back
in their proper places
Although dulled by the
erosion of experiences

And some were new
Which in the impermissible exchange
Cut even deeper than ever fathomable
But I wore it all
with a distorted sense of pride
because that is what survival
tends to do to you

And though the seconds turn to minutes
The minutes turn to days
The days turn to months
And the months turn to years
The scars still bleed sometimes
Like fresh cuts by the unforgiving
edge of those blades
that maim and mend you
into something mildly recognizable


And so on the other side of that coin
Again, I was ill-prepared for what churned
like it dressed itself in a
self-stitched get-up called 'Presumable'
As if anticipation earned its stripes uninvitedly
To always lower itself to some
self-imposed standard in the negative

And if that is the echo of fear
At the helm of this charade
That commands every action and reaction
Motivated by self-preservation
To be cautious and hesitant
I could ask for nothing more
But to be reckless again
Like I used to be
Only now armed with the tools
to make better use of it

Suppose, just for the moment that
One must master
the art of self-destruction
to truly comprehend
the benefit of healthy mindfulness

Yes, on the other side
Danger is not a threat
But rather a prerequisite
The only sure indicator
That what I'm feeling
Is worth the torture of being vulnerable

And I would gladly endure
Call the guards off
And step beyond this illusionary safety
Built for assurance purposes
But only if it was right
Only if it was for...you

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