It took me a while to figure out how it goes,
But I can see now that he simply
Doesn’t want the facts except when they
Support the feelings he’s already cultivating.
What had thrown me off before is that
When he does want them,
He speaks convincingly,
As if facts have innate value in themselves—
As if the world rightly owes them
A moment of silent reverence for being
What they are.
But now I see that the pomp appears to be
Little more than a play he makes to himself—
Because he can, I suppose—
Marking with ceremony the times
When he does it right,
As if to fool himself into assuming that
He always gets it right—more or less, you know.
And so, what I had previously taken as a signal
Of a deep philosophical agreement as to
The value and rightful place of reason in this life,
Turns out to have been but a momentary
Alignment of the planets, as it were—
An anomaly that he and I had both
Assumed in the moment to attest to
A meeting of the minds that was not
Really taking place.