I've developed a sense of self-preservation
spending sleepless nights staring heavy-lidded at tar pit skies
starting staggered strategies, soul-shifts, soliloquys, super-hero aspirations
Fixated to define myself, guideline myself and live by truths I won't possibly forget
Marking calendars as though each day were a new year, making resolutions when I lack the solutions required for the prefix.
I can visit a mental gallery with each previous incarnation of myself taxidermied and posed in genuflect to hail the me that exists this moment - each level an upgrade, signifying my status as 'most improved to date'
Today's model has developed a sense of self-preservation
having identified core behaviours known to tax my sanity so heavily, it would seem my mind was at war.
Behaviours that twitch the veins in my eyes, that curl my toes as though I were attempting to grow roots
Past instances of myself flash in the faces of those unaware of the aggravation piling up
And I see the history of everything I needed to change, everything I can't stand about every other person I was
plastered on every pillar of flesh and bone that speaks with a different voice.
I watch myself be insincere to women, and hide my true feelings from them, only to complain to the world that they didn't love me because I was too nice.
I shake my head in embarrassment each time I hear the words "I love all music except country and rap". The me who didn't see the blind arrogance in dismissing a genre because of a distaste for the examples he'd been granted.
I want to scream at the top of my lungs at every mask of me who sits quietly all night, eyeing the stage in the vain wish for enough courage to step upon it.
These compound as flash-fire images of regret upon regret upon regret
Every girl I never kissed
Every song I never sang
Every word I never wrote
Every chance I never took
These regrets are the newest ammunition loaded into the .50 caliber tongue in my head, and I spit them fully automatic through the skulls of each face before me.
I look forward to aging, to learning, to getting to a point of old where I can wield the kind of wisdom I've always wanted to have - the wisdom that can help me write a poem to leave this one in the dust.
See, I've developed a sense of self-preservation
To strengthen my sanity and build fires upon past mistakes, in oath to myself to never again develop regrets for things I didn't do. I will take this stage and aim no lower than I can imagine, and it will be my life's work to rule this entire god-damned world, or die in the attempt.
I will incinerate the hall of my once-was incarnations, and I invite you all to help me pour the gas.