Walking on Glass

What is it that keeps you here?

Fear of failure?

Fear of fear?

I start reading

from a book of prose

my physician straightens

out the glasses on his nose

(I pause here for effect)

"If only I had been able

to save my father from drinking

If only I had been able

to save my mother from thinking

Forever broken on cuts of glass

With broken images

Of sunken gods

If only, if only, if only....

If only I had been able

to save that girl from dying

I guess I keep on trying

I can bend this image

I can change the past

Maybe if I fast

Or swallow broken glass

Is this too much to ask?"

I only meant it as a joke

But from his stupor the doctor woke

(And cleared a dry-cough from his throat)

This self-afflicted failure

saves you from ever trying

And this "psycho-magical-poetic" death of yours

Saves you from ever really dying

Sometimes I'm so sharp

I might just cut myself

You have turned to stone

Said my physician

You could have made a fine Phoenician

Or even an incorruptible policeman

But I cannot succeed

I am terrified of failure

If only I had been a sailor

What if I had set sail

Upon a sea of glass?

What if I had asked you

If only once

To join me in the dance?

Would you have thought it

Rude of me to ask?

If only I were not afraid

Of broken glass