Instruction (As Voices)


United States
41° 30' 55.6344" N, 87° 33' 33.6996" W

Eyes forward. Chin up. Chest out. Head high.
Stiff upper lip, now; that's it. You've got it.
Don't slouch. Fall in line. Step lively. Look pretty.
Lather. Smile. Repeat.

Speak, boy, speak! No, not that - we only want the one sound - just the monotone on our command.
We're tired. Give us your key. Go fetch. Lock the door on your way

We have some instructions for you, they say.
I've never put a name to these voices.
You see, that would make things much too intimate.
I like keeping my enemies closer,
but this is much more terrifying.

Go away. Go to sleep.
You aren't needed at this time,
and neither are we;
I wonder whose voice these words belong to
they are not my own.

I am God.
I am Judas.
I am Sartre – there is no exit anymore.
I wonder if my words will appear to another
as voices -
an idea transcending time far past my future death.

What will they say?

“Come here. Never sleep. Stay up a while longer.
Eyes up. Eyes down. Eyes anywhere there is a mirror
Look at yourself.
If you stay silent
let it have meaning.

“Give me your eyelids.
Never sleep.
Never close.
Never blink.
Yes, there is pain
other voices will keep from you.
There is even pain in bearing witness.
It is this you must learn
to love.


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