“The Ignorance of a Wise Man” by Angel Uriel Perales

These safety hazards of a gilded heart
naturally unravel due to the constant strain
of everyday abuse.

Our solemn right of self-determination
and this endless pursuit for happiness
fails to stem the flood of memories evoked
by a solitary image from our past.

Raw emotion is a dish best served frozen.

This is how we age,
hunched over and eviscerated.

I see your picture,
your toothy smile,
the crows have perched on your eyelids,
stomped all over your face.

This is how we age,
leathery and grinning for survival.

I see your picture,
your celestial squint,
stretch the sagging muscles over cracked
and crusted makeup,
over tired and faded freckles,
this is how we age, like tensed clowns.

If I were truly wise,
I would never leave my shackled repose,
I would brick over the archways
and topple over the burning braziers,
insulate myself with all consuming fire.

I would destroy all the flickering monitors
that allow two-way access to my soul.

If I were truly wise,
I would reach for the offered vial,
inhale the comforting aroma
of bitter almonds, like Socrates.