Daily Archives: March 6, 2019

The Adversary

There are those who say,
do not succumb to despair 
in these days. Do not
hold the Adversary in contempt,
offer love in your heart, try to 
listen, try to understand

how their arsenic nation
was founded, how they closed
its borders and were shocked
to find us, terrified and confused,
within the walls. Wisdom, they say,
use your wisdom 
and keep compassion

for how threatened 
the Adversary feels these days, how
the bloom is off their funereal rose,
how they see the sky as a casket lid coming down
even as we have begun to dance
under our suddenly visible moon. Love them,
say some, honor their shaky hold on things

for we should know what it must feel like
to see the walls closing in after the grand history
of their fortress Earth. And then what —
as they crush us, do we offer them a kiss?
Look into the Adversary’s teeth and say,

so fine and pointy, so ready and built to rend?
There are those who say, we need to come together
and those who say we need to find common ground
with the Adversary: when their teeth come together
should we offer ourselves to be gnawed
in the common ground of their maw?

No.  No. Am not fodder, am not
ready for this.  I will not succumb to despair
but neither will I turn and open my arms
to the Adversary as they snarl into movement,
heavy limbs crunching live ground as they march.
No.  No.  You may offer compassion
but I will keep mine for my children, my land,
my own dance below my moon. My wisdom
for defense; my hand for any necessary blow;
my arm, weak or strong, for the War.

One By One No One

One by one they fall;
one by one in response come formal inquiries.
One by one, throat clearing and disapprovals.
No one calls it a pileup or a pile on.
No one calls it a trend or epidemic.
Each instance is an isolated incident
and unique and now we move on.

One by one by one and now there are
three and then three dozen and then
three hundred or more of them. Thousands,
perhaps hundreds of thousands. 
No one calls it out the same way twice.
No one says it’s deliberate, built in, systemic.
No one knows the right thing to say
and now we move on.

One by one by one and now there’s wind
and red glare and names and mistakes 
and deliberate choices. One by one. Steady drip
of incidents. Steady drip, drip, one by one by one
of blood and tears. No one dares admit it’s a war.
No one thinks fighting back makes any sense.
No one by no one saying the right things.
Body by body, one by one, no one calling it
until no one left can say a bloody thing.

Not An Attempt

Every other time I have managed
to survive. You ask: why not this time? 

I think I was just too tired
to keep on. Weary of the ride;

though I put up a small fight
it was mostly for show. I knew

what was likely to happen. I knew
I’d likely fall down and not get up again

of my own accord. I guess
it’s clear to me now that this time

I was not in fact prepared,
but was ready. All the wrong stars

were in the right house. I had not tied
a neat bow around anything left behind

but the package was sealed and awaited
delivery. Look at it now, sprawled

on the kitchen floor. I’m just above it
looking at it just as you do — although

my shrug at it being there is nothing
like your reaction to it. I’m already turning away.