Under the Covers

Under the Covers

under the covers it stinks of feet and asshole
and if you’ve pulled the covers over your head
maybe the odor of your bad breath too
                probably foul
                meaty breath
that minty gargle hides for only so long
     since the stench doesn’t come from the mouth
               not from between the teeth
               or the gritty skin of the tongue
the real stink is down deep
      way down in the guts
      where all the bad stuff percolates

and if you wear the same undershorts more than a day
they’ll start smelling musty
     and pissy
especially when it’s hot
especially in the incubator
     beneath the covers

so they’ll tell ya to put on fresh socks and briefs
     to bathe or shower before bed
     to regularly wash the sheets and bedspread
          with hypoallergenic soap
                and thread count's important
                don't forget the thread count
     and turn on the white noise machine 
           or an air purifier
           drop some pills
           recite a prayer
           there's plenty of gimmicks

maybe that’ll cut down on the itching
and nightmares
and restlessness
or obscure the odors
     and thoughts and uneasy memories
     that cause you shame and fear
     and prevent a solid night’s sleep

it’s probably good advice
     showering and bathing yourself
     and washing the sheets
cause too much filth is a bad, bad thing
      a degenerate thing

but we are filthy
     and vile
there’s negentropy toward it
     toward jealousy
     and pride
     and fear
     and laziness
there’s neentropy toward it
     which isn’t to say
     it’s all that we are

it’s a good thing
     covering it up
it’s noble
perhaps our most righteous endowment
    the potential to know ourselves
    for what we really are
    and the best in us
    is the will to overcome the worst
maybe it’s the main thing
    that separates us from the apes

but never forget 
you can wash some of it away with symbols
     or the moon and the stars
with the discovery of some cheap beer
     that actually tastes good
     in some place where the conversation and the music
               is good
                    and things seem easy                                        
                         for a while

    notice how it gets washed away      
            in a real laugh
or a song that makes your balls or clit
but these are too trivial
     too trite

we require grand schemes
cosmic designs
     that give us answers to everything
we need to carry the weight and fate of the cosmos 
     on our shoulders

we are, indeed, different than apes
in some ways smarter
in others
far more dumb

maybe you are better than the lowly ape
but either way
you are filth
     enduring and eternal filth
     the grit and grime of history 
           and glorious centuries
     the germs and mildew of today, tomorrow
           and yesterday 
     if it makes you feel better

underneath it all
underneath freshly laundered sheets
     and scrubbed teeth
whether you bathe in the morning
     or at night

we are filth 
whether we answer to God or
     a kiss
     the right drink at the right time
     a good fight
     sunrises or sunsets
     big tits
     or a child’s smile

whether we tend to others
or ourselves
or doctrines
or nature

we are filth
in the sacrifice of life        
            in the womb
            in the air
            on the battlefield
            before the firing squad
            on the stake
            in the office
            or alone in a room

however we live
however or wherever we die
whatever we believe in
we are the same

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