If Wishes Were Fishes

Wouldn’t it be nice to be 
as inert as a stone right now?
Shiny with minerals and perhaps
a semi-precious crystal or two
in your surface, insensate
and immune to the world’s 
barrage of little needles? 

Wouldn’t it be nice to be
as brilliant and short-lived
as a trout or even minnow right now?
Flashing through water 
in the sunlight filtering down
as you crossed the bed of the 
last clean stream on earth?

Wouldn’t it be nice to be
utterly unable to understand 
human speech right now?
To be able to stand mute and
unknowing as orders were read
and as the bullets came tearing
across the air into your chest?

Wouldn’t it be nice
not to be here as ourselves 
at all, prone to all the danger and ache
that comes from knowing 
where we are and who we are
and what we are capable of feeling
as we triumph or fail?  

Wouldn’t it be nice
to have the time
to pretend
these things
could possibly be true?
Wouldn’t we all love

this moment to be without torches
or a need for them except
to light a path into
the beauty of a night
we could enter without fear
of a nightmare coming alive?

What we would give for that.

What we will have to give
for that

is a promise to never be
dead as stone, dumb as fish;
silent, unknowing victims
of terror. A promise to see
and be our full selves
as the torches illuminate
that which squats ominously 
in the dark beyond.

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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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