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At what point does it
become too much?
When we finally raise our hands
and say

“We can’t build them any taller,
we can’t fit any more,
we have no more space
to put them anyway.”

At what point do we finally
stand up straight and ask
“Exactly how much green space
will you take away?”

“How important is it
that
we fit
another mall,” or

“How many more millions
do you need
when your tenants live
in squalor?”

At what point do we insist
The Man
doesn’t need another
dollar?

Whatever.

I’m not flirting with you
just because I’m talking to you.
I’m here ’cause I’m paid
to stand here and relate
to your story about whatever.

All I want to do
is sell some goddamn shoes.
But you’re wasting your time
and monopolizing mine.
Just end this chat already.

You’re the reason ladies
don’t make eye contact with strangers
or make polite conversation
any more.

You tell us all to smile,
to feed your inflated ego like
you earned it
or deserve it,
or like we owe you the prettiest image of ourselves.

You clearly just can’t handle it,
when I feel like smiling or a chat.
Why do you take it wrong?
If I like you, trust me, you will know.
So leave me the hell alone.

Run

The sheer force it takes
to get out the door
and steel myself against the early
morning cold,
is worth the lack
of time in bed
surrounded
by warm, soft down,
in exchange for crispy leaves
and the un-fogging of my brain
as the moths from a night
of epic dreaming wake
and are evicted,
and not a million 
coffee cups with all
the sugar in the world
can equal the flat-handed
slap in the face that
hits you mid-November
when a north wind blows
right through your bones
and in pure spite, your skin
decides to mock it not with goosebumps
but with sweat.

We Remember

We remember today,
to honour and thank
the lives given and dedicated
to preserving our right
to live happy and free,
not burdened by fright.
We remember their valour
their strength and salute them.
We name them by name
and acknowledge their selfless contribution.

We remember the sacrifices
all of them made
in leaving their families
to join the parade
of uniformed men
and women in arms,
to answer the call to
action and duty,
and stand up for their country
to defend what was right.

We wear the red poppy
that grew in the fields,
where only moments before
stood those promising young
men who had run despite
fear and confusion,
into the unknown,
for the sake of the future.

We remember the victims
who did not give their lives,
but whose lives were taken,
ruined,
and wasted.
Victims who suffered the atrocities of war:
the poisonous showers and experimentation;
the nuclear bombs;
the napalm fires.
Victims whose bodies
amidst chaos and hate
were brutally treated,
disgraced, maimed and raped.

We remember the veterans
cast aside by us all,
by the boomers and young ones,
unaffected by war.
We remember in order
to understand their ordeal,
the difficulty in surviving
with wounded bodies and minds.
We remember a generation without
which we’d be different,
lacking our current
advantages and freedoms.

We remember for reasons
countless, enduring.
We remember to prevent the same
from happening again,
by reminding ourselves
all that’s at stake.
But despite what some ignorant
may think or imply,
we in no way remember,
for remembering’s own sake.

Mess

I’m 4 days on no sleep now, 
and one week in despair.

There’s a crime scene in my bathroom, 
big pink splashes in the tub,
on the mirror, 
in the sink, 
pink dots covering the floor.

My skin is crawling night and day
unsightly, red and raw. 

Two bottles of calamine in the trash,
bloody bedsheets in the wash.
No reason for it, none at all.
No end in sight.
No way to heal,
No method of escape.

I wish to leave my skin behind,
just slither out and start again. 

I’m just a mess, it hurts to move.
Clothing hurts. Naked hurts. The wind hurts. 
Cold water, hot water, no water.
Sitting, standing, lying down.

It all hurts.

Chicken pox but so much worse,
since mom is not around,

to rub my back and wipe my tears,
draw a baking soda bath to soak
her miserable little leper
with the spotted little body
and never-ending itch.

I’ll hope for sleep tonight, 
without the restlessness and screaming.

A night of dreams instead
of watching hours pass unblinking.
3:00 am
5:30 am
8:00 am.

Shit.

Make a Noise

Not sure where any of this came from, but sometimes the worst run can still lead to some good mind-wandering. I’m really just amazed I remembered to write it once I got home!

Make a Noise

As long as those who love to hate
have the tendency to procreate,
their mindset of ethical lenience
will have a captivated audience…

…so it’s up to us to inform their kids
that other views do in fact exist
beyond those heard within the walls of their homes,
and those they oppose
will stand and resist…

…because the stand against hate is never in vain.
Though our resolve may wax and wane,
as we endure horrors of the most heartbreaking kind
and the day-to-day ignorance of the narrowest minds…

…we can go through our day
knowing the strength of our voices
can rise above all the hate-filled nonsense,
and even the tiniest, quietest voice
contributes to the wall-tumbling, earth-shattering noise.

Northern Winds of Autumn

The breeze through my window is forceful and cool,
its sole purpose to sweep the bangs across my face,
and sweep the cobwebs from these shallow-breathing lungs, reviving them like the bellows wakes a flame.

A flower to the sun, I turn to find it.
To feel it on my eyelids, in my nose and through my hair.
It lulls as much as it inspires awe,
like a thunderstorm’s calm and steady low rumble and heart-stopping crashes and booms.

The early autumn breeze carries with it
the scent of ocean salt and freshly-fallen rain.
Every moment it’s on my skin is one of rare and delicate bliss.
Its pauses extend within me as I hold my breath, sighing as a gust breaks the tension once again.