The Clean World

The clean world
smelled sweet. Bully free,
dogwhistles nonexistent. 

Ground unblemished, air
unremarkably clear, water ran free
or stood stagnant of its own volition.  

The clean world
had no rules but nature’s.
Had no history — nothing.

No monuments,
no memorials, no laying
of wreaths for war. 

That said, blood was shed
routinely there, savagery
to our eyes, 

seen there as normal.
Illness, starvation, 
unequal strength, 

denied opportunities.
Disasters for some
were windfalls for others.

The clean world
was full of ordinary
splendor and squalor.

No words existed 
for either. No humans
existed to speak them,

create the laws
to enshrine them, 
arm the soldiers 

to enforce them. 
Things happened
without us and 

the only difference 
was that once
they were done,

they were done.
No one’s god
ennobled any of it.

No king made
any of it regal.  
No songs, no poems,

no carvers to
make it into art.
No memory 

of golden violence.
No one deserved it.
No one justified it.

The clean world
existed once. Long before
we did. Long before

we came along 
to filth it up with
Utopian lies about 

our ordained places in it,
and how it will come again
with us making it happen.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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