Idleness is a gift

main concept
Nokyoung Xayasane

Idleness is a gift
you give yourself,
I say
with a glass of rosé
in hand.

I want to write a poem
about justice and love and revolution,
you know,
those grand, unfathomable concepts.

Main concept: person, place, or thing.
Sub concept: politics.
But then I think
that poem is for someone else,
you know,
the spoken word artists
and the singer-songwriters
that hide power and the ties that bind
in their lyrics
about a late afternoon in Prague.

I want to write about Europe,
baroque architecture, grand sweeping phrases,
glittered and coating the balustrade of a golden staircase.

Main concept: person, place, or thing.
Sub concept: culture.
I wonder
if I don’t write about Berlin or London,
will it matter?
Locations don’t really move me
I find.
I have no feelings of sentimentality
for a broken wall someone else climbed over,
the steps of a museum where someone else
walked up and saw the afternoon light
bathing a dark haired man
who would become their lover, their enemy.

What I have is this—
Main concept: person, place, or thing.
Sub concept: boredom.
What are we but bored people
reaching out to each other?
Not even the drama of heartache
or treachery—betrayal—
no, just plain boredom.
And so I write nothing.
I feel neutral.
All signs pointing to a healthy mind
and an idle pen.
It’s the gift I give myself.

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