the man reads a welcoming book,
where at its stunning, resolving climax
the final pages have been torn out.
the book's title: Life
all of the filler without any of the felicity

pitter patter, pitter patter
silent and alert, the man drops the book on the hardwood floor
pitter patter, pitter patter
he rushes to his desk and scrawls in chicken-scratch manuscript:

"filler and faith - they are synonymous words;
both are an illusion of meaning.
you hold them so tightly and wait for the payoff,
but hope's deception has you just as tightly.
your identity will blend into every other,
and the unimaginable happens;
happiness becomes equivalent not to contentment
but to the tolerance of despair."

the paper ends up folded in his pocket
and the man notices the polished table
where the life-resolver stares back, shimmering at him.
in quick, focused desperation
he picks up his sanity in his own hands
and before it dissipates
he wraps himself in a red blanket.