Daily Archives: October 1, 2017

Dialogue With A Flag

You want to call me animal
for the blood breeze blowing through me
every time I see you these days.
By all means, call me animal, say

this anger redefines me
as uncouth or unfit
for your society.
By all means, cast me out

again.  It would not be
the first time or even the second
that you chose my role, made me
your choice of savage beast.

Faced with that again,
I feel ancient
abandon coming on.
Find myself suddenly indifferent

to your spell,
how you snap 
your name, how 
some snap to attention for it.

By all means, declare
that I am not under your 
cover. Let me admit, 
at last, to a lightness

in my step when I think 
of all the generations before me
who did not see you as 
a safe blanket.  By all means

let me be the threat
beyond your edge. Let me
pick up the old tools 
of the enemy’s trade

and recognize them
anew as my best defense.
By all means, let me go.
Let me be free of you,

your red, your white, your 
blue. Too many good people
smothered under those colors.
Too many years I loved you

as if they were not 
smothering me, too. By all means,
gasp in shock and call me
merciless, call me savage again.  This time,

let it be true.


Thinking Ahead

If today were to be
the day, 

it would be good
to close things out
as a white muzzled dog
lying on a couch
below a window full 
of lemon light,

but if that’s not to be
for me, then I want
my own departure
to offer something
that makes such peace
available to all, to more
than those who had it 
before I came here. 

When I go I want
my eyes to shut
slowly as I release
the final breath and
let that air carry
my memory off
to the unknown.

If it is not to be
that I fall in such
serenity? Then let
the violence pull me
down, let me take it
with me, let it sink away
from view as I sink away
from view.

What I think I want
the most from my death
is that it should mean something
for the deaths that follow mine —

that it may ease passage,
end suffering, shut down
as much inflicted pain
as possible — that it may
offer in its finality
the same comfort as is found
in the thick fur of the old dog
sleeping deeply in the sun,
waiting for waiting to end.