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I unbuckle myself
from life sometimes,
if this is what “life”
has come to,
counting hours spent
within glorified cells
equipped to
identify you biometrically
and compute what
you’re worth
for the month
with steel-cold precision,
correct to the last
unforgiving centavo
and pruning away
the uniqueness of
your character,
setting your path
the way they leave
no alternative to
the lab rats
in a maze
so that you
can fit the packaging,
so that you
can match the branding,
after all it cost them
a pretty penny to pay
the industrial designer
from Stanford
to tell them what
their identity is
supposed to be
in order to sell.
What good is passion
if you can’t
monetize it, they
ask me,
shouldn’t creativity come
for free
if it’s not worth a stab
at Forbes and
four hundred thousand
downloads on
open source?

And somewhere,
my inner
terrified child
gets dizzy from
the thought that
the distance between
the things that I want and
the things I can afford
is just one
dirty compromise
that sometimes I don’t
recognize my own self,
as if the mirror
has eaten me alive
and is crunching
through my bones

so I unbuckle myself
from it sometimes,
just to see that
I still can
and all its convoluted
trappings I unstrap
from the limbs of
my routine,
and let the blood flow
and I wiggle my toes
and my thinking
against the fingers curled
around my dreams

* * *

Gibran said
you should wake me

“Staring at the Sun” by RJO Photo


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