Monday, May 10, 2010

I want visceral rewards

I want visceral rewards.
I am tired
Of doing good for its own sake.
I was raised to believe
That virtue is its own reward.
But over the long run
I have not found it so.
The habit of virtue hangs heavy.
Stiff as an overcoat,
But threadbare, comfortless
Against the lonely winter of my days.

I want touch
I want to be stroked.
I cannot, without input,
Keep generating energy.
A kettle cannot whistle
Without warmth;
No one expects it to.
Even a boiler needs tending.

And I am not,
I am not an appliance, a thing.
And my life is not without significance.
Nor do I, by and large, regret my ways.
But I cannot stop a billion starving cells
From howling in the caverns of my skin.

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