If I Ask You to Wiggle

If I ask you to wiggle 

one of your fingers right now

go ahead —

which one did you move?

and why that finger and not

one of the other nine?

What happens

deep beneath the surface of

our conscious minds,

the inscrutable mystery

of what ultimately churns up 

the bright signal:

move left pinky

is as clear to us as mud.

We don't need to look hard to find 

there's no one riding inside our heads

creating our thoughts

thinking what we think

before we think them —

for we simply don’t think


before it's thought.

So, the ultimate decision to

lift our left pinky —

when you consider it,

the freest choice

we could possibly make,

completely uncoerced by 

any outside influence —

that decision 

emerges fully formed

from a vast, inky-dark

unknowable void

and we, the wide-eyed

witness to the product of this internal magic,

we have no ability to

inspect it

defend it

or admonish it

for we simply didn’t 

create it.

The greatest trick the devil 

ever pulled

wan’t convincing us all that

he doesn’t exist

but that we instead, do.

Because the very self 

we think we experience every day,

that feeling of being 


behind our face

authoring our thoughts,

making our moves —

that feeling of agency,

of having free will?

that is the most

powerful illusion

of all.