there’s always somebody with a longer pipe,
a bigger hose, a higher car, a louder voice,
a holier prayer, a furrier cat, more modern p.a. system,
bigger book, crazier look, jazzier hook.
more bark-filled branch, more experience in romance,
fancier pants, better dance. more charm, longer arm,
higher IQ and more and more and more of everything than me and you.
there’s always somebody with a louder voice,
wider choice, bigger wit, more brawn and grit.
there’s always just somebody with more,
makes a grander exit out the door, owns a smoother tile floor,
lives on the street of greater jones, elicits bigger moans.
always someone who can outdo you.
so don’t try, don’t sigh, don’t rush, push, squash
swelter with bristle and gristle and effort.
burst with will, over-kill. let go. don’t try.
listen to the breath run out your nose for
one pure second, that’s all.
if you could forget who you are for one-quarter of a second
you could be more than you.
there’s always somebody who could out-run you,
out-gun you, out-smoke you, out-fight you, out-joke you.
show you his mansion in the back,
turn your palace into a shack.
meet you on 4th street and turn your feeling into second place.
predators, workers, normal people with intention or without
un-do you before you try--
hang it up, let it alone, be still.
don’t ask, don’t try, don’t pull-push.
if you forgot who you are and released,
you’d be satisfied. and there would be
no place to finish, first or last.
you’d be everywhere without dis-satisfaction.
you’d be in the center with everything and if you could see the rose,
you’d realize it’s bigger than the entire cosmos. then.
if you forgot who you are in that way,
in the center with everything, larger, then you could be found,
while the rest are holding tiny straws of false gold.
Carl Kavadlo is a poet and short story writer. His short stories have appeared in the Long Island University Muse, Rusty Typer and Loch Raven Review. His poems have appeared in Erato, Stained Sheets, Rogue Scholars, Brownstone Poetry, Clockwise Cat, Flutter, Mobius, Loch Raven Review, Miriam’s Well, Amphibius and others. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife.