Epilogue by K. Robert Schaeffer

You’ve murdered my best years, 
bogged my past in might-have-beens, 
and now, gorged with seconds, 
I slouch a stranger before myself… 
Since when this shocky tangle of beard, 
of bang? This squinted worming 
amongst impressions? Was I not 
Anti-Hero, Everycon, destined dweller 
in the castle of repressed wrongs? 
Have I lost count amid the Long Count? 
Is it not today this bunk-ridden husk 
is slated for outsourcing, 
to be sustained by intravenous stupor, 
and serve again the younger man 
upon the plane of nightmares? 
Charged with stalking hazy particulars 
about the darkling woods and ranges? 
Fending off ghosts, shirking sorrows? 
Digging from scarcely-thawed earth, 
and hauling toward horizon, 
toward the thousand paths to Self 
(by knapsack, yoke or litter), 
the boulders of my shame? 
Bleary, supine, I am resigned. 
But even if you’re one day sated, 
of a mind to say: “Enough!” 
Please, honor this ward’s preference, 
let it be; I’ve wished as much.
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