Addition by Subtraction

Sitting in a puddle
of what leaked from his brokenness
Paul felt good to hurt.

The hurt felt more honest
than anything he said over the last few days
and felt like a cloth cleaning a slate.

The slate fiercely held on to
commas, periods, semicolons
and an ellipsis that lead to the next sentence.

The next sentence was from a dream
where Paul was a number two pencil
whose eraser refused to remove past mistakes.

He judged his mistakes to be much larger
than they actually were.
He lacked perspective.

He tried to change his perspective
about his manliness.
The change included the sort of pill

his equilibrium required each day
to make it through interactions
with the remainder of humanity.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

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