Complaint 68.9

DEATH CAN BE A NEIGHBORHOOD
by Michael Borth

Are you afraid yet
Have you purchased rhinestone cowboy boots to shake in yet
Are you synthesizing all the information
Have you made a coherent plan
Have you made a working model
Does anything you do actually work
Has it ever worked
Are you witnessing more blood
Are you having trouble staying focused
Are you nothing more than a host of ailments
Does the terror seem like an invisible typhoon
Do the dead clamor at the basement doors of your dreams
Are comedians getting less and less funny
Are you worried Shiva is just getting warmed up
Are your friends increasingly frozen and stunned
Do you have any friends
Has anyone ever liked you
What do you feel you were promised
What do you feel you are guaranteed
Are the dark trees scratching against the house again
Do you think you could live off garbage
I don’t know where I am
I don’t know where I’m going
Do you know where you’re going
Does your computer keep your secrets
Do you compulsively check your money number
Are you falling in love with pornography stars

Where are the good times that were implied
There are empty concrete structures beside radio towers
There are badlooking dogs in the suburbs
Do you want certain family members to perish
Do you believe in fate
What’s with all the pets
Is this a land in the murderous grip of destiny
Isn’t it time you told the truth
Do you even know what the truth is
There are pills and mold spectra
There are events whose veracity cannot be confirmed
Aren’t there enough sad towns by the rails
Aren’t there enough single women in New Jersey
Have you gone to enough tropical islands to whine about global warming
Are we all actually dead and did we die long ago
Isn’t life a kind of death
Don’t you have to wake up to realize you slept
Isn’t the world a great nonrepeating corridor
Are you going to finish that
Have you ever finished anything
Have you ever had a goal
Why do we have goals
Is your hypnosis of positivity beginning to break
Has your cynicism become your co-conspirator
Have you dreamed of this man
You are arrested for becoming this man
Will you ever stop buying things
Do you know that every item is connected to myriad industry
Do you know I don’t know if that’s true
Are there weather forms yet unseen
Is it possible the human being is not well designed
Do you already have dementia, and no one has told you,
because they already did, and you can’t remember
Are we doing people any favors by bringing them here
Do you ever shut up
Have your hands stopped shaking
Oh cool, which autoimmune disease do you have
Do you get superstitious when you say a bad word about the world,
as if God were listening to you and quick to anger
Do we all have Stockholm Syndrome
Are you possessed
Did you know your dreams are just that
Has the universe ever lied to you about what it is and what happens here
Are we being punished
Do we need to lighten up
Isn’t there always some goodlooking person telling you it’s all in your head
Where have all the ugly people gone, and what do they have to say
What have you done with them
You don’t care and why would you
Am I crazy, or are there more and more people who think they know what’s going on
Am I crazy, or is this all a sham
Do you ever feel like a big stupid mule behind the carrot
Does it ever feel like we got bamboozled over this whole life thing
Do you ever feel like you’re in the introductory paragraph
of a long long chapter
in a desperately old textbook
and that chapter is titled Death Can Be A Neighborhood

Michael Borth is a writer from The Hudson Valley. His novel, The Health Department, can be read here: thecoastlands.net/work.

Image by DanielTao at Pixabay.

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