I Live In the World

by Eric Chaet

I live in the world:
I don’t belong to any organization
that protects me, I’m naked
& plenty of groups poke at me
& demand that I join them or else.

I live in the world
probably not too much longer
I probably have more memories
to sift thru & make sense of
than prospects
tho my aspirations are still mainly unfulfilled.

I live in the world
& soon, the world will go on
but I won’t
but I’m not dead yet
& I understand a great deal
that I didn’t previously understand
& I don’t think I have much to be ashamed of—
I did what I could about what I thought was wrong
& about the suffering of others—
but I had just so much strength
& just so much understanding
& just so many resources & skills—
& I was always struggling with my own
suffering & anxiety & unfulfilled aspirations.

I live in the world—
I was never going to live in the world a long time
relative to the life of stars or of species
or even of nations
which are themselves relatively new on the scene—
I live in the world
& I don’t intend to retire—
I intend to right whatever wrongs I can
& relieve whatever suffering I can—
tho it’s hard to help people—
generally what they want
isn’t what would relieve their suffering—
& I intend to realize my unfulfilled aspirations
to the extent that I still feel their urgency
& to the extent that they don’t conflict
with righting wrongs or relieving suffering
per my current understanding—
to the extent that they are aligned
with righting wrongs & relieving suffering—
my own & others’, too.

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