When you point at someone
three fingers point right back.
When you judge another
be prepared for a jury to let out
all over you.

I am sure
to be as abusive
to myself
as my soul will allow
so none other can judge me any harsher
than my own worst critic.

This leaves me safe
from your words
because I’ve already thought them.
You can surprise me
with no damnation;
that is my salvation.

And I have heard
occasionally from softer people
the thought that
I might perhaps be kinder to myself
and be less judgemental
but surely that is just their desire
to be let off the hook
for their own multitude of faults?

I prefer my tack.
I shall serve as the executor
of my own assessments
and be cruel to one and all
like the judge who joined the prisoner
behind bars
for the term
of his entire sentence.
That sentence was
“You’re guilty as fuck,”
and they stayed in that cell
or maybe it just felt like that.

About Jonathan Berger

I used to write quite a bit more.
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