why do you write

Paula Mendoza

in any instance a lesser arithmetic counted nights i slept off thoughts / of the abyss / where sometimes the abyss was made up of thinking / there is nothing i can take from or give to the world / but pleasure, and why / this should haunt me, and cause me to mourn, and feel eaten up with loneliness / is a fact i’d rather not ironize or find an image for / even if you don’t understand

because there are trees and blossoms and humans, without / the extra appendage of language, wholly capable of holding ecstasies / which weather constrains or unseams, and those everliving fits / stun

also, there is cruelty / and there are craters of limbs / and punishments inflicted / and hatreds you need only be gifted / with, in life / for the scales to fall

and humans we are reminded are humans / and humans which make the doubt a sickness held in our bellies / and a sentiment / that daily reminds anyone believing anything must be otherwise / that everything has ever been the same

so the question can be the descending blade / one bows a head beneath