There are times when I am fluid
and beautiful, when I lie exquisitely
in service to the struggle like a well-worn hilt
in a master swordsman’s hand; other times
I’m all spikes and protrusions when gripped,
and all the struggle can do
is drop me from its grasp
for fear of my damage.
I would tell you I am the site of the struggle
but the lie embedded in that is cold,
sharp, and slippery with others’ blood.
I could tell you I don’t want justice
but I do want to be fluid and beautiful,
and if that’s how I get there then by all means
I am for justice — but that is also a lie,
one as hot as the previous lie was not.
What I want is negation. I want to skip history.
I don’t want to be here. I don’t want
to have been here. I want for neither
cold nor heat. I want the cup to pass from me
and then I want to skip all of it: not fluid,
not beautiful, not sharp and impossible to hold.
I want to vanish into the past and be forgotten,
to have no qualities at all, to be forever
unscourged and unpraised
for what I did or did not do for the cause of Justice.
Invisibility, insignificance, even in fact
never to have been incarnate, as far as
the world can remember. That would be Justice
I think — to be unremarked among the faceless
of history. I feel it every time, until I am seized by History
and then, with a sigh, with a moan, I give myself away.