RIC S. BASTASA


to all the disciples of pain


come to me, for i will be your teacher
of pain, and lots of its kinds,
nuances and
variations,

come to me and i will teach you
how to dissect pain
identify its flesh and bones
muscle to muscle
cartilage to cartilage
nerve to nerve
to the tiniest cell of this pain
in all of us

we study this pain
we learn what is it really
this pain, like the way how we dissected the
frog nailed before us still alive
numbed & dead in chloroform

we see how the frog breathes
how we skin it how we see how it ceases
to have pain

after all is done
we throw the frog away in some trash can
after we have deprived it of its skeleton
bleached like a blank stare

we ask ourselves how do we
look at it eye to eye
without pity
as we prick it with a long shining needle
deep to its backbone

and then we remember
how pain dissipated in strong chloroform
how we ourselves inflicted it
without any feeling at all

now shall we blame ourselves
having pain ourselves when we ourselves love to inflict them

in frogs in mankind in the person that we also claim to love?

Submitted: Sunday, July 20, 2008

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