circumstances beg us 
to play Icarus, 
with false pride to
rise above sanity, 
or complacency to sink 
below the surface of reason

forewarned by common sense,
nevertheless, ignoring sensibility 
we soar above the sun
challenging fate, failing then
crashing behind self-criticism
doubt, guilt and fear

our road is bordered
by hubris and depression. 
jumping between sides
oxygen thins, with
nowhere to stand, no time
to catch a breath, but

in those rare moments
of reflection we think;
“this can’t be us,”
looking for somewhere
to point our fingers
to make an assignment

at some turn on our road
there is a mirror
we see from either side
the reflection ourselves
with a finger pointing 
back at us

heading out across the city 
new sights, scenes, streets
a chance to think without
interference of the usual
to comprehend to understand

an unfettered review
of conversations
from before today
without filters
since

the sound of words
can mislead by accident,
or intent, unless 
nuances are captured
at the saying

different words perhaps
formality instead,
of friendly patter,
syntactical changes,
no eye contact and

the teasing out of 
what a person wants 
to hear, from what
was said, truth
from mask.

at the end of the line
a day has passed,
with unwanted realizations
that lives have changed.
the next bus comes in ten minutes