The Guilt That Follows the Craziness That the Anxiety Provokes

Poetry When It Comes

Mostly, he was even-keeled, stoic,

the anchor in the storm; a lover

told him once he showed a range

of emotion narrower than that

of a rock.

Mostly, he lived a quiet life, alone,

reading his murder mysteries,

playing a bit of piano, tending

to animals, taking long walks

in the park.

But a few times a year, usually

during seasonal changes,

the lonely nights unnerved him,

and he drank too much and binged

on online porn.

Mostly, it helped a bit, getting

“it” out of his system, as they say;

it was crazy times, but after a week

or so, it wound down to exhaustion,

followed by guilt.

Mostly, it’s a way, the counselor

tells him, of shutting down the brain

when the wild thoughts drag him

under in a fierce riptide

of meta-analysis.

And thus, it seems, he can’t be blamed

and yet the guilt—so much of it—remains.

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