Fallibility of Flesh

A free verse poem on the power possessed in a bottle of hair dye.

Why did you dye your hair red?

No doubt the question was more pointedly psychological than it was philosophical, but I have a long standing tradition of intentionally misunderstanding the quandaries put to me particularly when they piss me off.

So.

What constitutional qualities of Man would make him want to dye his hair?

What inherent characteristics are printed into his most basic makeup that would animate Man to throw his fist against the vast canvas of existence and finger paint a stroke? An infinitesimal stroke. The laughable, ludicrous work of a weak fool frantically trying to prove his worth.

There are days when the future feels like an endless abyss of blank canvas and the only stroke I have even the slightest power to manipulate is the one above my head.

Ironic, isn’t it, that God formed our frames feeble and fallible and yet knighted us with Masterdom?

Ironic.

Paradoxical.

You supposedly gave us all the earth and yet there is no purely mine

there is only Yours.

There is only what You built.

There is only what You gave in Your abundant mercy for which Man, meek, humble and unspeakably weak, must perpetually thank You.

When You held dust in Your hands and pumped the lifeless lungs with air did You imagine for a moment Man was capable of concurring? Of asserting dominion? Of majesty? Of Mastering any sort of elemental functioning? Forget complex cognition.

I do not like the fallibility of flesh.

I do not like the feel of being thrust into the writhing throes of nature, desperately gasping for breath.

You, in your omnipotence, packaged your image into the impotent plaything you formed from the very soil you then commanded him to conquer.

Our feeble forms are crippled beneath the impossibilities You ask of us.

Caught in a perpetual paradox, pathetically gripping the bottle of red dye defying the laws lining my veins and pumping blood to my brain.

Laws I did not write.

Laws I cannot break.

Laws I cannot comprehend in totem but according to which I must operate.

Did You mock man when You made him master?

DID YOU MOCK MAN WHEN YOU MADE HIM MASTER?

DID YOU MOCK MAN WHEN YOU MADE HIM, Master?

See “Fallibility of Flesh” performed on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1lzUP4N

 

author's bio: 
Celeste Marcus is a senior at Kohelet Yeshiva High School in Merion Station, Pa.