Joseph Osel

confined to a leaky and sinking old boat
confined by change
by the aware yet archaic brain
by the thought
the emotions
by evolution
for or against

restricted by the lungs
and function
constrained by rightness
and non-essential wisdom

confined to the limiting possibilities
limited by time
the four directions
Newtonian physics
quantum mechanics
and ether

confined by imprecise language
by imprecise education
by certainty and uncertainty

encircled by the world-savers
the time-wasters, the paper-faced

ensnared by the black mosquito
or mile marker 146
or this time
or no time
or anything
less than
more than
or nowhere

confined by the lines in the road
by 29 miles to go

confined in ability
confined in unknown bias
unknown and known galaxies
known and unknown loves
confined by this poem
there or here
back and forth
or not back and forth

drowning in impotent ideas
morals, values, ethics
or lack thereof

confined by no judgment
or too much judgment
or just enough
or just right

deadened by politeness
by tambourines
by porcelain
or locomotives of faith
pounding on you like
broken piano keys

sedated by the rising concrete
and moreover, and therefore

forced under by too much
or not enough

forced under by rotted vegetables
or a burnt out headlight

confined by psychological voyeurism
peering in during the last
moments of solitude

or perhaps
confined by underwater warfare
by changing sides
and walking home afterward
shoes blow to smithereens

being set free by the breathtakingly plain
and ultimate conclusion
is as decent a thing
as anyone can know

Joseph Osel is an Editor and writer. A version of "A Carnal Hypothesis" was first published by The Cooperpoint Journal in 2008.