How Can I? A Poem, or Several

How can I refuse to live in fear when

Night falls on me and I dream of machine gun muzzles

Pressed cold insistent on my skull

Of broken glass on the floor,

Broken by the screams of innocents

 How can I choose joy

When I am surrounded by death on

All sides

When I search for meaning and find

Emptiness

When the time pours into my lap but I

Still search only in my small circle

For truth

 How can I enjoy these moments

When fear plagues my deepest thoughts

My façade is a dynamic mask of joy and peace

But inside I’m tortured with ideals of impossibility

And the unsettled feeling, carried like a shell,

That I will not be enough.

 How can I watch the water dance down the drain

While days drag on in drought

While tongues crack and lips search

For a lonesome bead of acid rain

 How can I

With all of this, with my air conditioning and my heating and my

Literacy and my liberty

Complain of simple things

How can we, as a country, be so enraged

At the color of a cup of coffee

But avert our eyes from our brothers and sisters

Whose cups are empty

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