Only Reality

     Be it life or death, we crave only reality

                                     H.D. Thoreau 

     Humankind cannot bear very much reality… 

                                     T.S. Eliot 


You’d long filled a file tabbed “Reality” 
with reports of any you’d found, 
only events deemed earthbound, 
with no attribution to deity; 
you’d lived life beyond most norms 
of social convention, 
meeting the challenge of restrictive forms 
though hinting at mortal rendition, 
like a scorpion challenged  
by a ring of fire, jabbing himself 
with his own stinger, taking 
his own life, his only reality. 



George Held’s work has appeared in, among other periodicals, Blue Unicorn, Spring, Transference, and Two Cities Review and has received eleven Pushcart Prize nominations. Among his books is the poetry chapbook Second Sight (2019); his next book, The Lucky Boy (2022), collects nine of his short stories.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, October 25, 2021 - 22:08