The Elephant

I know not much of life

I know I’ve fought battles, I was never asked to fight.


I’ve never seen

or heard

or felt


peace, kindness, happiness

all at once

without a layer of despair.


Days dissolve away

back into the earth,

back into the stars

back into the sea

where I saw the bones of a dinosaur dancing around

mocking me.


I know not much of death.

Seeing as I have not died yet.


But, oh, how much I know of the thought of it.

Of it creeping around my bedroom

as I sit and stare at it.

And I can’t look away

as it directs my every thought

my every hope my every train distraught

by its permanent presence

its unavoidable essence

that both mocks and warns,

takes but scorns,

a soundless sound escapes my voice

as I drown in knowing,

I have no other choice.


Sleep alludes me,

thoughts do not.


They don’t ask permission

even when they aren’t sought.


I know not much of physics;

the world as it is, for what it is.


In all its laws and evidence and numbers

I can’t seem to find reason,

I can’t seem to find answers

to the hate, the crime, the death, the numbered days

that we are forced to sit and wait

as they pass and we sleep them away.


And gravity pulls my atoms

but my mind caresses the clouds

and floats all the way to the end of the universe

even into those that are still yet to be found.


But I suppose there’s not much we can do

except move, live, walk, eat, breathe, and wander

as we ponder the earth beneath our feet

and our eyes and ears and nose and hearts wonder

what is a soul and where in our bodies does it meet

to make me, me, to make you, you,

to make my insides a bloated fog of thunder?


I know not much of anything.

It seems Socrates was on to something.


Without getting too philosophical:

(of which I know not much)

we fabricate reasons,

like the earth creates oxygen,

so we can breathe this life for which we never asked,

so we find the strength to fight battles that were never ours to fight,

so that this sun, its new moon and the night we outlast

until we have to face the night, and we become past.


If there is something I wish I never was

as much as it is irrelevant

would be, to be an elephant.


However limited,

we have enough memory as is.


– C. Bauxa
June 17, 2016

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