Life’s a Stage
If life is a stage, then I am sitting in the audience
toward the back on the left side, wondering
when the intermission will begin and if
there will be enough time to go to the bathroom,
and maybe get something to eat at the concessions stand but the play
just keeps going and going without stop
and here I am, fidgeting and squirming
and praying for the end until I remember
this is life and I want to see what happens next.
The ‘or’ has always been my downfall,
a cursed grammatical conjunction,
as futile to fight as city hall,
yet I refuse life with compunction.
When, if not now, should I proceed
in struggle, to wrestle and wage my war
against this coordinating alternative creed
of damnable choices between either/or.
I choose to begin each day, each task
with the forbidden ‘or’ of differentiation,
or, why not, instead make ‘or’ ask
Or else what? is the true temptation.
Or to be (or not), or to know, or to live,
the Bard knew that matter of life,
not the choice but the refusal we give
which carves out a place amidst the strife.
The’ or’ for me is an or, or nothing,
no remainder, as well as no choice
it lacks permission, it fails to be loving
it lacks praise, refusing to rejoice.
It’s in the in between, not the preference
that life is lived, that affection is found,
refusing the ‘or’ is to learn deference,
and finding indeterminacy is profound.