State of Nature

Kevin Riel

How do you know what you know to be true?
That scream / couch / window / wind / to bed / because
The authorities tell you what to do.

Their contract is null, never void; yet you
Reside soothed by their repulsions, because
How else would you know what you know is true?

You’re told, Stop. Shut up. Hurt. Love us as you
Love you. Move Along. And you do, because
Authorities have long told us what to do.

Guilty of faith, our pillars our pets, you
Growl at the neighbors silently because
How could you know what is actually true?

Doubt! Doubt you once screamed at the door, you
Reoriented, refinanced, because
New authorities told you what to do.

The real atrocity, dear reader, you
Know demands you hear its screams / scream / because
Now you will know what you know to be true
Because I’m telling you what you must do.