OK. I’m bowing and scraping. Apologizing
for my body and its bloat, for my wadded-up mind,
for getting drunk in my underwear so many times,
for my sense of humor which only ever bummed
everyone out. I’m sorry for changing the carnation
in my lapel twice a day. That was wasteful. I
regret not wanting what I’m supposed to want.
I’m begging pardon for singing so loudly and out
of tune on balconies when people were trying
to sleep, for never running for a bus like I meant it.
In my own defense I will say that like any spooky
moon, my head is beset with craters and dark regions.
It’s easily chipped. To all the happy little plants
sprouting spiny, alien fruits who I failed to salute
each day in their noble growth as I crossed the train
tracks on my way to work, mea culpa. I feel special
remorse for populating my ark, as floodwaters
rose, turbid as a dirty martini, solely with animals
I found sexually attractive, then allowing the mouths
of some to rust shut. That was wrong. After all,
they are my kin. Are we square now? Can I go?
A. C. Grayling