Stephen Dunn

The Revolt

Picture a certain banker's house and its crawl space, then imagine a circumstance in which he has to crawl. If you want to take part, imagine rats' nests and a leaking pipe, and all the plumbers in the world tired of shit, not answering their phones. For I have come to my banker's house, already having unscrewed what down below was screwed tight. I've rung his bell, and have been made to wait in the garden and take off my shoes.

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Like that time when all I wanted was to hole up in my room. I had allowed myself to be forgiven, and there I was feeling this pathetic, incriminating gratefulness. Or at my favorite professor's dinner party when I gave birth to what I thought was a new idea, and the room fell quiet with tolerance. I still hear that tolerance. Or that evening I forgave her her betrayal because it lessened mine, and found myself for once the forgiver, trying to enjoy that rare high ground. Poisonous, the air up there.

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