There are men who will beat you to death
for fifty cents.
Pretend it doesn’t matter.
Forget the squashed kitten by the road,
the TV images of bodies blown apart,
the girl next door who slit her wrists.
And the starving boy’s belly
drooping to the ground?
Make it more manageable.
Don’t imagine flies in his nostrils, his ears,
the urine smell,
bones screaming through skin.
Say it’s his karma
or God’s will.
Build a philosophy to hold it all
apart from you.
Next time you pass the gap-toothed hag
begging for coins,
tell yourself she’d just squander it
on Ripple.
Look in her eyes and
say, Sorry, no,
I’d like to but I can’t.
Keep walking. Don’t look back.
Listen to the birds.
Read a book.
Fall in and out of love.
Make money.
Grow old.