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The Loop

"Life sucks."
I glance up from my book and sprawl across
a dilapidated coffeeshop couch at the dark
uniformed contingent of angst troopers who
nod with that sagacity recruits alone can
muster on the eve of battle or community
theater players during dress rehearsal.
"No one cares, you know.
They just don't understand."
She delivers her lines flawlessly beneath
a track lighting hotspot; the painted faces 
of Jose Marti, Marcos and other compadres
of the revolution peer over her shoulder 
from the photograph of some alley mural; 
a coincidental icon, perhaps, or mere irony. 
"I've always felt like an outsider,
you know,
on the outside of some window
looking in"
I refrain from stage whispering a heresy:
"If you don't like it, break the window"
for she'd only be breaking ranks, breaking 
faith with the role she's cast herself in 
that communion of souls yearning to be lost.
Besides, this isn't improv, it's ritual.
"Dammed straight."  "You go, girl."
"I hear you."  "Ain't that the truth."
The new revised standard version of "amen"
for these true believers who worship not
idols of gold or silver, at least not yet 
or as they would admit but terpsichore to 
the militant arias of that bloodthirsty
pagan goddess of vague peer acceptance.
"Life sucks."
Yeah, this pageant is a loop, a variation
on the same tired ways history moves, yet
I wish them better, this current crop of 
Crusaders who've chosen their own splinters 
from the cross all bear of restless spirits 
never really knowing what it is we seek.

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