The Solipsists

When I tell you of my existential crisis in the shower,
of being frozen in the rain of hot water and steam,
afraid of being alive inside a universe that perhaps has

only a limited number of consciousnesses to hand out
like a bowl of Halloween candy in the dim porch light
(don’t knock, just take) – why was I born with human

privilege? I could have been a beetle hiding from
bombs in a country bleating with siren and flame.
Why this panic as I soap myself inside the pleasures

of plumbing? You tell me you don’t know if I exist,
and it’s funny a figment of your imagination would
be sowing doubt upon your own living. I tell you it’s

funny a figment of my imagination says the same, which
you say sounds like something an illusion would say.
We drink Lagunitas in a beam of window sunlight. One

of us will live forever in the simulation of our sandbox,
the black cat floating on the wobbles of my knees, purring
softly into dark sweatpants discernible from nothing else.

(originally published in Subnivean, Winter 2021)

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