Quarters

I.               January

Do you want to know what it’s like to be introverted?

Imagine you are at a pool; music playing, people laughing

You splash your way around, treading on the tips of your toes

Floating

Each separate noise calls your attention, bright and bold in color

Everything you hear is outside of you

Now put your head underwater. The water surrounds you

Your ears

If you can hear anything, it’s the rush of bubbles and current
back and forth across the pool. Swimming, you’ll move
fast enough to never break the surface
long enough to start thinking
underwater
the loudest thing is your mind
The bubbles and current fade into white noise
the only distraction from laps are your thoughts
and the only thing you listen to is yourself
No matter what you say
good, bad, truth, lies
You listen to yourself the most

 

II.              May

Sisyphus enters another life,
rolls his boulder up another mountain,
and together he and I struggle through each day of May

We push together the weights of our mistakes, our sins

I keep my mouth closed,

as clay sticks to my boulder, building it, weighting it

I refuse to complain; I refuse to cry for help

My pride muzzles me, even as the bones in my fingers fracture
I swear to myself they will be repaired stronger, and I push on

When I finally reach the top and throw my cap in the air,

My hands are bruised and hideous

But they will be stronger.

 

III.            November

They have a forecast up
Like they’re talking ‘bout the weather
and I’ve never felt more like God said
“Forget luck, you fucked it up”
There’s a belt across the country like a bloody
smirk put there with a knife, no sign of life
just a shitty piece of artwork
And I’ve never been more bothered by the color red
it’s always been in my head, on my bed
covered my hands and my clothes and
now it just reminds me of how much the country’s bled
we give no thanks for that and it shows
America’s burning like a satin flower
blue petals ripped away in a few short hours
Scattered on flesh that’s been seared with a brand
set on fire by a catalyst none could withstand
but this is what you get when you wanted power

I open my mouth to speak.

 

IV.            December

I grew up between the pages of a book,
under the heavy covers, shielded from the sun
My light came from the spaces between the words

I’ve lived a thousand lives,

Millions of lives, in the pages at my fingertips

And now, peeking, fearful and hesitant,

From the doors of my library,

 I am learning to live my own

This poem is about: 
Me
My country
Our world

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