How Does It Make You Feel?

To C.D.

As if the mosaic of my emotions
could be summarized in simple
platitudes others would want to hear – –

like the greeting, “How are you?”
if answered truthfully, the full
force of existential anxiety

would annihilate the listener
with its dark pathos, nothing
remaining but a shadow’s smudge.

“How does it make you feel?”
is best left unanswered, or deflected
by a fine, an OK, or an easy joke;

best not go too far beyond the surface,
too easy to become entangled
in the causalities of my emotional

Sargasso Sea, too easy to drown
flailing about on the sea bed,
stretching for air just out of reach.

(January 2011)

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