skills

we wanted a specialization.
each of us. flight, throwing fire,
any comic book power would be fine.
or at least a specialty:
something people would talk about
after a church dinner.
i know a man who makes potato salad.
german style. the best i have ever eaten.
another one who can guess register totals
nine times out of ten. just by looking.
at night all of us have woken up
surrounded by insecurities. cravings.
wanting an audience’s agreement
that we were something else:
to be a spectacle. remember?
alone, standing before the sunrise,
as predawn velveteen softens a world
that doesn’t acknowledge us.
people who could care less about us are
still asleep and dreaming, presided over
by silent alarm radios. let’s be honest.
that’s when we want fame the most.
and see where it gets us?
little darts thrown by a masked man,
passing alone, slipping darkly
towards separation, an earnest
competition without commentary,
contestants finally ending (pointlessly)
in cork, some in tree bark or dirt.
a lucky few of us wind up leaking toxins
(maybe) beneath a pricked pelt
into muscles of a creature:
noticed at last,
at last earning
a response from the sunlit world.

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