If: A Poem by David Rogers

If he knew he’d be dead by dark
Tolstoy supposedly said he’d keep
plowing which proves either
he really liked to plow or else
he was a bit off that day and I think
it must be the latter because
no sane man likes to plow that much
unless you mean the metaphorical
kind but Ell Tee was way too
uptight for that sort of thing and
not that imaginative but if
I were cursed with such knowledge
I’d find a hot metaphor and have a
wild time and get a revolver to
defend myself in case I’m slated
to die at the hands of a jealous
lover whose girlfriend I haven’t even
slept with and I know I’d probably
end up being shot with my own
weapon because as the Greeks figured
out a long time ago that’s how
these things usually work out
nobody escapes irony but I still say
it’s best to go down fighting or
polishing your weapon or being
metaphorical or doing anything
that counts as honest rebellion.

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