the way it is

hell is crowded yet
you always think that you are
alone.

and you can never tell
anybody that
you are in hell
or they’ll think
you’re crazy.

but being crazy is
being in hell
and being sane is
too.

those who escape hell
never talk about
it
and nothing much
bothers them
after
that.
I mean, things like
missing a meal,
going to jail,
crashing your car
or
even
dying.

when you ask them,
“how are things
going?”
they’ll answer, “fine,
just fine…”

once you’ve been to hell
and back,
it’s enough, it’s the
quietest celebration
known.

once you’ve been to hell
and back,
you don’t look behind you
when the floor
creaks.
the sun is up at
midnight
and things like
the eyes of mice
or an old tire
in a vacant lot
can make you
happy.

once you’ve been to hell
and back.