“Layers” by Matthew Freeman

Lots of human brains
eventually get to where
they say
none of this had to be
this way.
Other brains
knew all along
that everything is necessary.
It’s sad, though,
because so many things
are terrible and evidently wrong.
And even the Beautiful,
whatever that is,
can be terrifying.

I’m caught up in a dialectic
of suffering, going in and out
as the medicine dictates.
I started out
with a stammer
and by the time
I got clear
wretched anhedonia
had already set in.
What a high-
balancing act
performed with
semaphores at the bar
and suggestions at the library.
I would
explain this all
but you would need
someone to explain the

Matthew Freeman is the author of several collections of poems, most recently Ideas of Reference at Jesuit Hall (Coffeetown Press) and Exile (2River). He holds an MFA from the Univeristy of Missouri-Saint Louis and has garnered some minor awards.

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