The Cost of Knowing

In the beginning, I was Midas.
Everything I touched was golden.
My parents looked on with oohs and aahs
As I smeared violet finger paint across
Virgin sheets of paper
Almost as tall as I was.
My writings returned unblemished
By the sacrilege of the teacher’s red pen.

And then I was DaVinci:
Still brilliant,
Still unmatched in my generation
But beginning to glimpse the world
Beyond the world.

Next, Van Gogh,
Confused by the vibrancy of a life
I had no way of preparing for,
Compelled to set it down
By any means necessary.
Painting a vast firmament
Of exploding light,
Fumbling for the names
Of colors I’d never seen before.

Now Eliot.
Standing on a frozen shore,
Surrounded by hollow men,
Holding an empty journal
I no longer have the heart to fill.

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