Absolutes

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Shanananaaa

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I'm having trouble, here.
You see, I work in absolutes.
Water is wet, the sky is blue.
But you are an enigma
That I just can't pin down.
I like clearly drawn lines;
But you,
You are the stripes
Drawn with no fine motor skills
And a pencil
Badly in need of sharpening
Not pressed down hard enough
On cheap paper
That smears
As the sweaty hand of the author
Grazes its surface.
One second I think
I have caught you
Firmly in my grasp
And then you wiggle and slither
And slide through my fingers
Leaving me wondering
Why I keep lotioning my damn hands.
I like solids
Because they tell me where I stand.
But you,
You are a lake;
No, an ocean,
The unknown lurking in your depths,
Waiting to be discovered,
But mostly far too deep
For someone
Who doesn't own a submarine
Or an oxygen tank.
You probably breathe fire.
I'd believe it if you told me
Because you're such a damn mystery.
A page turner,
A barn burner,
A New York Times best seller.
I can speed read with the best of them
But can't manage
To flip
Those last few pages
To figure you out.
You're the cliffhanger
For which I don't want to reach the ending,
Dog-eared, spine worn,
But never finished,
So the magic stays.


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I got up the guts to read this aloud at a slam poetry event on Tuesday and it was well received. I even got a few snaps of approval mid-poem during the "lotioning my hands" line. It was an exhilarating experience and I want to do it again. I've always had a fear of public speaking so I figured I'd dive headfirst off the cliff of my comfort zone.
 
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