That Infernal Scale

“On a scale of 1 to 10,
how would you rate
your pain today?”

attempts to understand
and manage dirty pain
only cause more
pain (slivers and shards growing like crystals)

that daily dun-brown inquiry
into ourselves seizes us,
the hot buzz sting
of the growing awareness
of mortality….
aggravates deeply (pain)

more than I could say

and redly amplifies
the original stark question.

what if you answer 10
at 3 AM
but by the afternoon…
what then?
what of the futile measurement?
what of the meaningless guess
and what of the meaning-haunted guesser?
adding mortal insult
to immortal injury (pain).

Morality whispers of a wrongness
to pain
but I have wondered why
we think pain recognizes morality.

That’s the real question, innit?
Why we think there are
floors and ceilings
in the house of pain.

So in the hard and hopeless
of the darkness before dawn
we sit between these moments
when all things are defined
and that infernal scale
is shattered by the triumph
of pain held to the standard
at last made manifest
revealed first on a cross
and then revealed
set free
of scales, of measurements,
of guesses in the night, while
golgotha gasps and grasps
futilely at our cloaks
that we have shed as winter
surrenders to Sweet Spring.

That Spring
That 1 and 10
Ever Spring.