Parole for Good Behavior

Finally releasing the habitual,
serrated myth that I was defective,
I have not yet relinquished the idea that what’s good certainly can,
should
be made better, and better, and better yet.
To stop kicking yourself becomes, bit by bit,
a more brilliant idea, and,
in the celebration of the end of the bruising,
it’s quite easy to miss the fact that you
are still walking with a limp,
caught in the trip-wire of outside applause you crave
to define yourself, to defend yourself, to extend yourself
between the tattered pieces of living soul that remain to you.
Ambition is the twin of childhood grief
as we beggar ourselves to reimburse those we fear we’ve disappointed,
those we’ve yet to impress, those who reneged, or refused to give,
even though we are the ones out of pocket.

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