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A meditation on the question “Was it all worth it”
his memoir recounts his

finding himself suddenly “coming to”
as if from a coma

in the middle of a banquet
and the recognition

that age had advanced on him glacially.
Then the gash down the plane of the east

by an abrupting left-handed mountain
not there yesterday

(called Mount Was
ecclesiastically white,

a master’s watercolor of novena candles)
shocked him like the smell of shoe polish and blood

the day of the May procession when they sang
“Queen of the angels queen of the May”

(lyric by J.H. Newman?) to the young Mary Pat Sweeney
whose father worked for the F.B.I.

and whose morals entered a swift and fatal decline
after she left eh convent, then college, then two mariages,

for runways in Paris, TX; Athens, GA; Troy, NY: and Smyrna, DE.
His answer is “Probably not”

because he can’t put up with or away
the sight of this mountain

blocking his self-view.

– JT Barbarese


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