On Atlas

Try to guess the nature of the thing
feeling only the burden between the blades
of your shoulders, and growing tension in your neck.
Surely it must be horrible, how could delight weigh
so heavily upon you? How could it not be awful?

Shrug, if you must. Shrug if the damn thing's so horrible,
but first let me plead for a moment. Though it's heavy
and hard to hold, pick it up for just a moment
and hold it in front of you. Yes, just like that.
Okay, now look at it. Meet its eyes.

I know there are a lot of them, and it's hard to look
at so many things all at once, thank you for at least trying,
but I need a bit more. See the little ones moving
quickly around the temples? Yes, the really little ones--
I know it's hard to see the difference, you're gigantic, but think relatively.

Well those really little ones, they think they're just as gigantic
as you. I know it's an outrage, it's outrageous, but they do.
Be apprised though, they think it's outrageous that you think you're
as gigantic as they are. Are you? Are you really so objectively
large and powerful, does your giving up really mean so much?

Here's the thing though, they're all gigantic. We're all gigantic together,
and we all feel the weight. Don't get me started about the ropes
around my neck, the knots-- Baby, you should see them.
What I'm saying though, is that if you want to pass it off
we're here to hold it for a while, too.

Baby, we're sharing this thing. We really are sharing it,
so if you need to take a knee and crumple for a while
let me be the first to invite you to do so. But know
that you can't drop it. It doesn't just go away, and the whole damn thing
gets heavier for the rest of us. We're only so big, you know.

No comments: