They Don’t Want Us to Recite Our Poems

By AG

They don’t want us to recite our poems, don’t want the people to behold any signs or see any symbols and they d-mn sure don’t want us to know that the ancestors are with us. They don’t want us to recite our poems.

They fear the foreign sounds of our secret language: Hope. They thought it long dead. They are afraid of the spread of our fever how it creeps along the sense—our hearing and seeing, our awakening perception, our ability to sniff out what’s false.

The willingness to feel our most painful wound, the taste of blood on our lips. They don’t want us to recite our poems.

They are afraid of the promise of our spring, the way mother earth blushes green for us, hiding her gift in full view of both the strong and weak alike.

She has shown us fine stones in a babbling brook: love, faith, courage, tenacity, and understanding. They fear the inevitable fall of their rampaging giants.

They don’t want us to recite our poems. They want us to die with our songs unsung. They want to bury our burnt-out husks perfectly preserved shells, with sightless eyes of bitter black smoke and a mouthful of tightly clenched pearl-white teeth, trapping inside, for all eternity, the music that they desperately fear.

They don’t want us to recite our poems.

If

By JMA

If prisons
Lease our liberty

If seas
Rent our shores

If silence
Hustles penny songs

If power
Purchases helplessness

Then into this world
I step renewed

To float unbound
Cocooned in pleasure, in pain

Not yet spent
Comprehend, contained

A desperate paradigm
Unknown, unborn, untainted

If this time
I can love myself enough to live