Can I Be Real?

Can I be real?
Just for a moment anyway.
(Any longer and I may
start hating myself all over again.)
I stand before you,
less than an artist,
but hoping to appeal
to your kinder side.

You reach for me at times
in frustration, not meaning
to endanger
our entanglement.
Certainly, we revel in the
dance of our emotions.
In fact, they seem to form
who we are when we’re
together.

We don’t know how to
be apart. From
the start there was nothing
other than us.
(I stayed with you the first
night you moved into your
new house, and every night after
for six months.)

I try standing taller
whenever you approach me,
but I feel less than you.
I am no alpha male; rather,
I shrink
in your presence,
I think,
sensing
a superiority
you cannot help but
ooze.

The booze, for me,
is liquid courage, but
I’m like the porridge Red
could not accept
until the third bowl.
I cannot,
even with all my might,
measure up to your abilities.

As if a serving of porridge,
I am not necessarily cold; just, I don’t
know, maybe
merely
food,
but not sustenance.

I could never be the
writer you are. I’m unable
to see the things
you see.
No harm, really. It’s not
as though I’ve suffered
a dashed dream.

It would seem I
am merely not able to push my
feelings up from
deep within my gut, down my
arm,
into my hands and fingers, and
onto the page.
I am not capable of
translation like you are.

I know the language,
and can grunt a
word or two, but the
fact is I fail to
get the words out
at the same intensity
I am feeling them
inside.

Tragic in a way.
It’s as if the one thing
I do best,
That is, to feel,
is not enough.
Writing
is not for me.

Oh, I would love to be
a writer, sure,
but what kind of art form
involves a depressed
and anxious soul
belting out his insecurities?
No one wants to read about
worms eating at my heart,
depleting my love for life:
or gnats buzzing in my head,
distracting me from
my deeper thoughts.
(My ruminations and such.)

So, no, I won’t write.
I’ll let storytelling and
prose, and poetry, and
activities of expression
such as these to
you,
the real writer.

© 2017 Steven Barto

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