Question & Answer 2 – Cyrus Parker

Question 2

Eventually the doctors will strangle the good from my throat.
There are seventeen moths living in the back of my mouth,
masking the holes in my gums, masking the holes in my gums.
We always go back to the same coffee shop to advocate
for the symptoms of a hiatus hernia. The coffee is volcanic
in ways Nescafe would describe as ‘good for young children.’
The acid reflux is worth two Americanos, and an espresso
on Sunday mornings, count the hours at night because
you’ll never get them back. Premium grocery lists don’t
shimmer like haikus, but every list is a series of traits I never
want to inherit. Do you read notes left on shop floors?
Scour the enemy’s predictions, the stock of cat food, the rise
in cheap cereals, the Blue Danube Waltz across the
cigarette stand. Burn the doctors, burn the caffeine, burn
the groceries, it will all be ok, it will all mask the holes.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

but isn’t that human nature, though?
to find comfort in the things that destroy us,
to mask the pain with something even more hideous,
so we might feel a little less ugly
when we look at ourselves in the mirror.
so we might feel a little less ugly
when they look in from the outside.
i’ve lived with masks, and without,
and while hiding behind a face that isn’t your own
makes it easier to get to sleep,
what lies underneath that façade
is what will haunt you in your nightmares.
i’ve been trying to take the mask off now and again,
to get to know the stranger that wears my face,
and i’ve learned how he copes:
he eats until knives carve their way out of his stomach
to fill a hunger that will never be satisfied
(the knives, they make more holes, but he knows just how to fill them);
he drinks until words spill out of his fingers
to fill a hole even hate dare not touch;
he fills notebooks with incomprehensible lines of poetry
because he need them to think he has his shit together more than he does;
he reads the notes on the shop floor
because he needs to know he has his shit together more than they do.
he too has moths in his throat, you see,
and he burns every single one of them
that dares leave a hole unfilled.

– Cyrus Parker