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The Opposite of Virtue
by Yahia Lababidi
‘There is never an instant’s truce,’
pronounced thorough Thoreau
‘between virtue and vice’
One might say, a vice is a vise,
never mind, metal or moral,
it’s basically the same device
with cunning moveable jaws
designed to fix us in place
and rob us of a chance at grace
or like a metaphysical cat’s paws
pinning down our spiritual tail
as we chase freedom to no avail
impervious to all advice, habit
hotly whispers false reassurance
while tightening its iron grip.
It takes no effort to slip into vice,
but virtue is trickier to stick to
like the back of a bucking bronco.
© Yahia Lababidi 2023
Yahia Lababidi is the author of Quarantine Notes (aphorisms), Revolutions of the Heart (essays), The Artist as Mystic (conversations), and, most recently, Learning to Pray (poetry & aphorisms) and Desert Songs (poetry & photography).