Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Federico Moramarco: "One Hundred and Eighty Degrees"

Have you considered the possibility
that everything you believe is wrong,
not merely off a bit, but totally wrong,
nothing like things as they really are?
If you've done this, you know how durably fragile
those phantoms we hold in our heads are,
those wisps of thought that people die and kill for,
betray lovers for, give up lifelong friendships for.
If you've not done this, you probably don't understand this poem,
or think it's not even a poem, but a bit of opaque nonsense,
occupying too much of your day's time,
so you probably should stop reading it here, now.
But if you've arrived at this line,
maybe, just maybe, you're open to that possibility,
the possibility of being absolutely completely wrong,
about everything that matters.
How different the world seems then:
everyone who was your enemy is your friend,
everything you hated, you now love,
and everything you love slips through your fingers like sand.

"One Hundred and Eighty Degrees" by Federico Moramarco. Text as published in "Is Democratic Debate Any Longer Possible?", posted on OpEdNews.com (August 4, 2009). © Federico Moramarco.

Art credit: Untitled image by unknown photographer.


  1. Heartbreaking, that last line, and yet I want the world to read this, to have that pause to consider other ways of understanding and believing so they can make space in their minds and hearts for people who aren't just like them.


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