An Irishman Explains Himself

by Christopher Reilley (@Reilley)
(Boston, MA, USA)

It is my own decision, my own preference,
my choice to be either liked or admired.
I have decided that fitting in is not nearly the same
as discovering where I belong.

And so I wander this world, and I watch.

I’ve seen the moments when dawn snuck up on the rooster,
witnessed the many times a good woman took him back
and the times he let her down again.
I was horrified but not surprised
to learn how much bad there is,

if you choose to seek it out.

And I’ve been present at moments of such wonder,
such magnificent intricacy
and statistical anomaly,
that I weep for their transience.

They’ve often happened at the dinner table.

There has been growth, and reversal,
pain and pleasure, fortune and hunger
and the boundless sundry wants and desires
of someone who has always faced life
leading with his chin.

I cherish my solitude.

Sometimes I’ll hop a ride and end up somewhere else;
just because I can. I’ve slept under a blanket of stars
all alone, with nothing between me and the heavens
but the mistakes I’ve made.

If I never cross the line how do I know where it is?

I’ve come to believe that of all man’s endeavors,
of all the inventions, practices, rituals, customs or habits -
the finest and most complete form of communication
possible between two souls
costs nothing more than the time it takes.

I believe in kissing.

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