Labor Pains or Death Throes?

What is this pain slicing through my soul?
Have I been a fool all my life?
I’ve never been whole.
Is anyone whole?

I don’t understand why it hurts now,
After all the years interred.
What purpose is there in somehow
Exhuming what remains?

Nothing about me is useful
Or tolerable
When I was youthful
at least I had potential.
Perhaps I spent it all.

There’s some key I’m missing:
Some slipped space between
the teeth of ability and identity
Listing to the side of isolation.

I am starting to think there may just be
some kind of battle again raging
Over who I am to be.
Who am I to be?

The failure?
The slave?
The suicide?

The victory?

Which of these things most resembles me?

Speak now,
so I may forever hold my peace.

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