Felix Fojas

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 105 in 2002.

(for Sharon Esther Lampert)

In kindergarten our elders

Teach us to memorize by heart

Each sugarcoated letter

In the ABC of lies

Because the aspirin of fact

Is a tough act to swallow.

Then we slowly learn

To shape letters into

Plain words of untruth.

Afterwards, we graduate

To the art of stringing

Beads of pearly words

Into lustrous sentences,

A necklace of deception.

Finally we ourselves become

Masters of prevarication

And fabricate sentences

Into flawless paragraphs

Of falsehood which we print

Into a hardbound handbook

Of light and circulate

To the coming generation

While the primer of truth

Gathers dust and cobwebs

In some dark, stuffy corner

Of the inarticulate.