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The Opposite of Virtue by Yahia Lababidi

The Opposite of Virtue

Yahia Lababidi


One might say, a vice is a vise
never mind if metal or moral,
it’s basically the same device 

with cunning moveable jaws
designed to fix us in place
and cheat us of a chance at grace

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 is an Egyptian-American thinker, poet and author of 7 books in 4 genres. His forthcoming book, Where Epics Fail, was featured on PBS NewsHour and is generously endorsed by Obama's inaugural poet, Richard Blanco. Epics is to be published by Unbound(UK), in partnership with Penguin Random House and, currently, is available for pre-order. Previously, Lababidi's Balancing Acts: New & Selected Poems (1993-2015) debuted at #1 on Amazon's Hot New Releases. His work has appeared on NPR, Best American Poetry, AGNI, World Literature Today, On Being with Krista Tippett and Lababidi has participated in international poetry festivals throughout the USA, Eastern Europe as well as the Middle East. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, his writing has been translated into several languages, including: Arabic, Hebrew, Slovak, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, and Swedish.