The Man Behind the Curtain

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2013
Published in The Bolton Review, issue 1

My father used to tell me that your brain is sat behind you
pulling strings laced through your fingers and your eyes,
itching you and twitching at your lips to make you say things
to distract your curiosity and keep you satisfied.

Your brain needs you to think that it’s not there until you use it
and it gets you to forget you ever do.
It grows a little bigger every time you feel it working
but that makes it wrinkle up against itself to hide from you.

It tells you that you use your skin to touch, your tongue to taste,
and something called your soul for something else.
It’s told you not to ask what makes them work and you believe it ’cause you don’t want to ask how it knows what you don’t know yourself.

Your brain just lets you rest and lifts you up and puts you down.
It’s your creator but it hates to spoil the show.
Don’t look too long or cut beneath the surface ‘cause it hurts.
Your brain knows what it’s doing and that’s all you need to know.

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