nothing is static as a matter of fact.

but the world is a hard and strange place

that’s been chosen for us to live in.

nothing is static, no full stop, but we pretend it is,

just to stay alive.

when i stumble down the stairs, bleary eyed

in the dark cocktail of a morning and night,

i have to assume those stairs are stationary and fixed in place.

i don’t have the energy or stability to account for a trillion

molecules smashing into each other – i just need to pee.

the river and the city built around it and the

one point six three three million people inside

are always changing: aging, growing, hurting, birthing, wilting, laughing, dying, rising,

with each passing, scorching day.

but i’m just one guy, it’s all just “phoenix” to me.

it’s too complex to account for: that the girl two

streets over threw a quinceanera that her boyfriend didn’t attend,

that the homeless population rose by three last night,

but then only by two because alcohol impairs vision,

nothing is static, but i can’t attend to it all.

so, to survive, i assume yesterday is today

just in older clothes, that the situation has remained

unchanged since i last assessed it,

that the girl and her city and its politicians and their priests

are all just the same as they used to be,

that if my worldview could make sense of things,

then my kids can use it too – my conceptions of

god, the good guys, and who we fight should carry

them through – my politics, my conceptions and translations,

just pass ’em on down like old time religion,

but everything ain’t the same. the temperature has changed.

the girl two streets over has her own kids. god lets women preach now?

there are new enemies. have the good guys sold out?

and i’m caught in the vice of the terrifying reality

that we might have been wrong. i might not know!

so my options are narrow: i can either pee myself on the

stairs trying to stay up to speed on the objective nature of

“how things really are” or i can keep running on my

outdated conceptions, keep pretending i know what’s what,

live as if yesterday is today just one revolution older.

or alternatively, i could just give up the game,

instead of explaining and knowing and ridiculing and condemning,

i could strike a golden mean, find a faithful path

between assuming what was true yesterday is true today

and despairing from doubt and my ignorance of everything.

it might mean walking with my eyes open,

it might mean sacrificing my niche tribe identity,

it might mean re-calibrating my perspective constantly,

it would mean redefining who we mean by we, and admitting i

cannot know objectively that which is not an object.

Published by javenbear

Javen Bear is 25 years old and lives with his beautiful wife Aleisha in Phoenix, Arizona. He's a graduate student in a mental health counseling program at Grand Canyon University where he also works as an admissions representative. Javen’s super-power, if he had one, would be the ability to press pause on the world and catch up on reading. He enjoys talking walks with his wife, playing guitar, and always uses Oxford commas.

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