I SPEND THE EMPTY HOURS

I spend considerable time thinking
about what it is that I am, what is I,
whether Descartes’ God or Spinoza’s
could possibly exist, or must if I can have
meaning beyond self-reflection, needing
a godly mirror, and image reflected.
Cogito, on what basis can I draw that conclusion
what logical proof, carefully constructed will
not fall under the weight of the axiom, cogito cogito
but of what? Keys that spit words that fade
under a misplaced finger, she caught in the web
twisting, unable to pull free, staring at
an approaching holiday of praying forgiveness
Vidui, as though to posit God is to validate
emotions, control impulses which leap synapses
and flit and fade, I have sinned and transgressed
I have violated laws and statutes and I beg
forgiveness that I might live, this I, this cogito
who has no external reference save God
which makes all things real, all illusion.
It is comforting knowing in death the soul is
carried on, thought lingers, or does it cease
such that I am not for I think not, yet why should
I fear, for when it is done, I will not have been
save as a reference point, a linchpin from which
may hang ornaments of a life, a tidy sum.

Publsihed in These Lines, Fall 2020
https://theselines.org/these-lines-1.1-fall-2020.pdf

ERGO COGITO

She says she is certain she exists,
much as she is certain he exists as well.
He says, she thinks she exists,
thinks he does as well.  
                                               Descartes, he says,
was right, at least on that point.
She says no, it is obvious, thoughts
requires existence. Sum ergo cogito,
she says, is how it must be:
a thought requires the thinker.
He says a thinker requires a thought first,
without which there is no thinker.
She says an egg doesn’t mean
a chicken will emerge.
                                                  The chicken
will, if all goes well, he claims.
He says she puts the cart
before the horse.
                                     She says
he is an ass, and hers
is a donkey cart, and she
dangles a carrot from a stick
in front of him as he
pulls her cart slowly down the road.