Is this poem real?
Foucault claimed we are all
inventions of ourselves,
defined into bondage
by those who would control us.
Scientists classify genus and species
to separate, organize
but we’re still cousins to great apes.
You can see it in their eyes.
Black marks on white paper
conjure images of forked roads,
memories of hard choices made poor,
remain simple smears of ink.
Scribbled recipe chronicles
warm bread that wakes
with scent of childhood –
nothing more than graphite scarred paper.
By what magical ritual
am I –
is anything –
birthed into reality?
I do not remember my birth
but my mother told me so.
I think I think therefore
Descartes told me so.
Doesn’t matter if the bear
was always in sandstone
or invented by artist’s hand.
I see its orange hide, feel its hardness.
What if my enemy is not offended
by clever insults? Are they still insults?
If imagined kisses stiffen me as quickly
as lover’s actual lips, have I been kissed?
I was a math major but math lost its luster
when it had to be applied, made real.
It shined most beautiful when it danced,
discovered only for its own sake.
©2020 Kenneth W. Arthur