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Infinite Infinitive



to do or not to do—
why not?

to resist others' definitions, interpretations,
their power to sway context and connotation

to be different enough be held at arm's length
but not so different as to be hunted with torch and pitchfork

to exist only as the fantasy
of someone who will never meet you

to partake without purchase
to indulge without demand

to never defend the dull

to repair what we can't prevent
to charm every creation away from its creator

to savage everyone
with my splendidness

to possess progress, to buy it and own it
and show it on a shelf amongst
the most cherished dust

to do more
poorly
or less
better

to live long enough
that the loss of a few contests
doesn't affect your prospects

to practice the both until you're ready for the all

to find humor in our vulnerability
in rehearsal of future hurts,
peculiar in our particulars

to posit an exterior space of salvation
and an interior route to it

to come to your sensex

to the particular joy of contemplating limits
to thrive on deprivation

to periodically rearrange your confinement

to eradicate one's expressions so thoroughly
that one doesn't know what one feels
(but goes on feeling it)

to be proud of the good, appalled by the wicked,
surprised by neither

to praise the rambunctious
equally with the responsible,
but not the destructive

to stop demanding silence
and learn to be heard within the noise

to have seen between

to numb the creator until we can catch up with creation

to say what I have celebrated
to celebrate what I have said

to speak again
when you don't feel you're being heard

to behold your gibbous mouth
erupt with social media

to despair again
of over-corrected youth
that chirps no
when it should sing and
or say or

to live as though everything dead were ugly
to kiss an abolitionist

to control the unloved
or to love the uncontrolled

to be borrowed, used,
for purposes that originate elsewhere

to lend, to allow, one's small allowance
to other uses by external intent

to adapt to poison without succumbing
yet also without losing sensitivity
to its presence

to defend the I
against awareness of the we of the I,
the we of the Is of the wes

to redeem ourselves through growth

to be liked for our efforts
but loved for our character

to live as if only the questions one asks while alive
can be answered after, and all the rest forever
unavailable, forever unknown, never to be
incorporated inside the constructed constraint
of identity, of self

to be on the wrong side,
rooted against

to over-provoke

to see how long we can sustain ignorance as a defense

to become more comfortable with difficulty
to learn pleasureless living

to mortgage the present
with no intention of ever paying it off

to keep your treasures in Fort Equinox
to accommodate the various densities

to describe the prize in lies

to sleep, perchance to dream
of waking        the rub, the rub,
the rub-a-dub-dub!

to cease completely
or to stop becoming

to do, or to remember

All poems are written and copyrighted by Michael C. Rush.
None may be republished or repurposed without permission.