We In The New Place (Privilege)

When we are in a new place
we don’t know of the concealed dips 
in the new floor so we trip
every time we take
what should be a simple path
from bed to bathroom,
counter to table. Getting used
to a new place

means consciously
mapping the territory until it becomes
subconscious work to travel with ease
through the furniture in the dark 
without bumping and cursing and 
anger and pain. We work at it until 

one day we no longer think much
of how complex orientation to 
our environment actually is, how long
it took to become masters of 
our own comfort. It seems so obvious 

yet we seem to forget it the moment
we are faced with someone telling us
we’ve tripped on something — a word, a joke,
a gesture, a look — we once thought 
so harmless, so easy, so pointlessly
straightforward that there was no way
for it to cause a bump, a pain,
a damage to another person we never 
thought much about in the old place — 
after all, the furniture we kicked
never us kicked back —
but we feel like we’re in a new place now
without ever having moved, having to learn 
that the map we hold within us
does not truly describe
the territory as it is,
but as we wish it was.

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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