What is Real but the Promise

a poem by Craig McGeady

What is real but the breath that fogs the morning air,

What is real but the light that folds itself against our skin,

What is real but the moment we peel the temperance of our thoughts

Seeking out that stoppered space that hungers for release.


What is real but the clouds that we scale with our eyes,

What is real but the absence of a touch that has long since died,

What is real but the purchase that we seek within the stars

Tentatively taking infant steps in electric cars.


What is real but the lips casting shadows on the wall,

What is real but these neurons that flit like cornered birds,

What is real but the stockpile of absurdly wasteful words

That scamper to the furthest reaches of our reason.


What is real but the promise of a kiss that’s never sought,

What is real but the rainbow and the fiction that we’re taught,

What is real but the song that rifles through our skin

seeking out our broken promises and the truth we hide within.

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