Worse

they burn down
your ancestral dances
and languages

or worse,

call you
by their own names for you
and then ask you
to teach them those dances
so they may dance them badly 
in a movie

or worse,

get rich-busy with
your ceremonies,
put them out on the street
half-assed to pull
some commercial duty

or worse, 

take it all away
only to flush back upon you
mostly dead pieces
of what you once had and tell you
to make a home there

so you do,

and there are moments of
drum-happy and meth-sad, time’s as mixed 
as the dogs who cur and mutt
your dirt streets and you say
it could be better

or worse:

you could choke in that miasma
between their better and your worse,
you could disappear

or worse,

you could forget all of it
and burn your dances down yourself
in a moment 
of surrender

or worse, 

you could let them choose your definition,
let them 
give you their blood banner to follow,
let them claim they’re your ultra,
let them stifle 
your last whimper,
let them take your children because
it’s all for the better — 

and worse,

you could realize that where they are,
where they want you to be,
there’s no better at all
for the likes of you and yours — 

and worse even than that,

you could realize
you have no choice but
to be there anyway.

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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