The Borkowski poet in residence considers the relationship between celebrities and pain in the wake of Halle Berry telling America’s Parade magazine recently that she had contemplated suicide after her first marriage imploded.
Pain is an implement
for careful use,
when nothing else will raise your name
out of the gutter
of yesterday’s news.
When cleavage doesn’t cut it
and the paparazzi’s knicker shots
are stuffed with last week’s fast food
at the bottom of bins
for rats to feast on
pain is the only tool
left in the box.
So bring out your suffering,
your suicide attempts,
your teenage arm slashings.
Parade your sympathy for the soldiers lost in combat,
for the poverty-stricken, the lame,
the diseased, the dying.
Put your sudden understanding
for the world outside your bubble life
of money and no consequence on show
so the world can see
there’s no perfection;
that even stars must sputter out.
This is the therapy we pay you for.