The Agnostic

He admits to himself
that there are fleeting times when
he still believes
that up in the sky

there’s a bearded solution 
to all of this pain. He knows better,
of course, always has,
just like the cool kids do.
But knowing better
isn’t always enough to banish
certain things from his head
that took up residence long before
knowing meant more than believing.

What he thinks he knows
about such things now, he does not share.
All the cool kids would sneer.
All the cool kids know better than him —
by which he means they have a better process
for knowing. They’re better at knowing 
than he is. When they know something,
they know it. He, on the other hand,
keep gnawing at the knowing all the time,
trying to know better, trying to know more
and more certainly, and it never comes to him.

All this is to say that tonight, right now,
he’s aware of how alone this makes him.
How nothing is reliable. How no one
is in the same boat, at least not anyone
he could call and ask for help. There’s this
one important question he needs an answer to
and if there’s nothing beyond himself to provide
a safe space to ask it, he dares not say it out loud.
All the cool kids would laugh at him for feeling that way.
All the cool kids would turn away if he asked them,

so he doesn’t ask, and slowly pulls away.

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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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