Disproportionate Experiences by Devika Brendon

Issue TwelveIssue Twelve PoetryPoetry

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Disproportionate Experiences by Devika Brendon

It’s what we focus on that we make significant.

We can drive ourselves mad

By zooming in on the brutal brevity of human joy;

our small quota, what we are stingily allowed.
In comparison to the extended ordeals

of fear and regret, and sorrow.

But we are the filters and curators:

the discriminators and discerners

of our own life experiences.

In our own hand is the power.

I know this, now.


I can dwell on the assault at the age of 4.

The betrayal of trust at the life stage when a child is just individuating,

or the unexpected swell and surge

of desire, that I slowly allowed myself

years later when I could separate it out.


I could decide to leach away the shock and the shame

And leave only the joy and the innocence that eventually washed clean.

I could winnow the harvest

with the wisdom

Of an agriculturalist’s hand.

I could choose to cut away the smoke;

shatter the mirrors;

be only the pure flame.


Someone told me once that he had discovered the cure for depression:

That he had observed his sister

Torture herself by placing too much significance on the things that hurt her.

And the impact that had.


So, he suggested we all do the opposite:

Take every shard of happiness

And expand it till it fills us up.

And no sorrow can enter

Or occupy any space we do not allocate.