In reality, we all stand naked
and alone on the dark edge of a cliff;
if sometimes, fearlessness cannot be faked,
that is not shameful. It is not as if

we are the only fools who shiver
when faced with the specter of some unseen
fate, or hesitate at a great river
not knowing just what lies waiting downstream.

Any time you cut beneath the surface,
there will be a wound, and you will draw blood
(and some will flinch and turn their faces from you,
not understanding the surgeon’s purpose,
nor seeing their own cold flesh caked with mud);
those with their own pale scars will see you through.

06 FEB 2003

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