I left my soul down on the bottom rung of the social ladder, burned in wood, a troll’s toll.
The desert mirage no longer glitters like gold.
The palace is but a haunted mansion of putrescent corpses and tormented souls.
How long have I journeyed down this dark path?
All this upward motion led to downward spirals for backward people running from their own shadows.
The premise of our religion is the reason for proposed extinction. Is there not a human alive who doesn’t believe we don’t all deserve to die?
And every rung thereafter reaffirmed self-loathing for the delusion of perfection, for false security, for the American nightmare.
Even as I rejected promises of fame and fortune, for the price of my soul, I chose to climb.
“Little child, striving for the top bunk, you were never an angel, and that’s okay.”
To hell with the ladder. This false ascension has exhausted me.
Dismantle the mechanisms that would motivate me toward that zombie wasteland.
Allow the pain body to step into the light and, dammit, find the strength to look it in the eye.
“Little child, don’t you know that love cannot be earned?
You’ve lost your religion, but you still bear the scars on your hands from when they nailed you to the cross.
If they don’t love you now, they will never truly love you, and that’s okay.
It’s okay even when it’s not.”
I found my soul where I left it, on my bedroom floor, where there was
once a wooden ladder.
In the 2nd grade, the night I considered
the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
I don’t “want to be,”
This is good
enough for me.