Zero State


I remember

waking up in a warm soft sinking deep bed of dreams
still fresh still moving still available…I closed my night
eyes and opened the day; opened up to possibility and
opportunity knowing others don’t can’t won’t

see what I saw when

I dreamt that Afghanistan smelled cold smelled like death
like oppression…everything headed to sadness madness
and endless dreams going sour in wasted nights in mindless
days in time to find no innocence at all

when I try to

wake up wanting to save the world needing feeling
watching myself crave redemption asking why we are
where we are who we are what are we thinking doing
seeing having…when all there is are only the two…

innocence and guilt; but

dear innocence likes to think itself immune apart from
the crass and dirty, the languishing hope that one day
fear doesn’t win, ignorance doesn’t prevail, power
stays out of the equation and us them—we—survive

to be guilty of living while

in tattered dreams I see innocence as merely the
zero state…the starting point the thing that is always
before the after; always the sound a microsecond
prior to the gunshot the IED the smile the tears

that dampen our souls

but true innocence grants no favors no special place
waits for it (for us) for the world to remember what
it always knew…what it always forgets—first—when
forgetting is a means to an end

to finish what it has started while

the silent finger writing on the wall records minutes
hours days of lost innocence replicated guilt…history is
manmade is created without thought is rolled out without
fanfare; tick tick tick the slow fast rhythm compels us

to dance to the tune playing

only in our dreams…I think about why…about selfish me
about humanity if it is simply to relieve my pressure not
the salve the world needs wants…I don’t know but I do
know that without me you us there is no world

to agonize over to

compare the innocent to the guilty to the lived to the
dead; all moving slowly quickly toward an end without
history without possibility without opportunity deep beds
dreams and the idea that we have innocence at all

when living itself is not a zero state.

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