The Wall

This wall they speak of
is not the one that counts.

The wall they count on
is the fourth wall.

The wall they count on
must be unbreakable.

The wall they count on
they must rigorously maintain.

Black lives matter
on the other side of the fourth wall

but if the wall breaks,
what then?

Water is life
behind the fourth wall,

but if the wall breaks,
what then?

A dignified memory of protest
is sweet behind the fourth wall

but if the wall breaks,
if you are slowed on the way to your job,

what then? 
The border wall is on the other side

of the fourth wall.
The South is on the other side

of the fourth wall. Methane
and drought? Behind the fourth wall.

All they dream of is you by yourself
with the fourth wall. All they dream of

is you seeing nothing on your side 
except yourself, you not seeing the fourth wall

at all. Most of all what they work for
is you keeping your eyes on 

whatever or whoever they’ve chosen
for you to watch behind the fourth wall.

Whatever monster, whatever ego,
whatever heartbreaker of a hug.

Whatever soul-crushing comb-over,
whatever lovely-boned daughter,

whatever fat little fingers spell
while traipsing through the air.

And all the while? There is no wall.
All the while you watch it

you are instead
watching a tiny mirror

that doesn’t show anything 
except your own horrified face.

Nothing of the background,
nothing of who stands behind you,

nothing of their smiles
and their own hands pulling strings.

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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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