Philosophy Graduate Student

An Ouroboros tail in mouth
I sit in class and stare
at your push-broom mustache,
contemplating the profound
question: would it be
morally acceptable for me
to shave the thick bristles
off your face? Of course,
I’d probably displace
a complete civilization
of Platos and Aristotles
behind the theoretical
curtain that shades your upper lip,
constructing speech with logical slips,
premises you unleash in lecture,
frowning at conjectures from students
who overlook the facts.
If A is justified in believing B
and B entails C, then I am
justified in believing that
your glass mug is not full of tea
when you mention consensual
sex between man and dolphin,
ask us to debate the ethics
with a sound and valid argument.
When Socrates swan dives into
the herbal hot tub you’re sipping,
I think maybe the world
as I see it is a lie,
the universe nothing more
than dirt trapped inside
the feather-duster under your nose
or a paradoxical snake’s
essence spinning infinite
like a barber shop pole.

Karen Bourne

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