We hung our memories on the racks
and laced our fingers behind our backs
while we wandered the streets
watching them shake their heads,
“Their aching made them weep.”
Our aching made us weep.
Our aching made us weak.

We spat coal from our lungs
and quenched our thirst with white ash.
Oh, didn’t you hear?
We fought our war in Padua
while they buried their heads in the sand.
Wrinkled necks like weathered leather,
they told us, “You’ll be better.”

We could.
Do.
Better.

On the streets, littered gold
we picked our roses without the thorns
and sang to high heaven.
We marched, we marched.
We marched down the road.
We stumbled and fell,
but didn’t rest our weary bones.

Our soles blistered and cracked,
the balm we took announced our woes.
At the gates we stood waiting
for our demons to be purged
and from our lips our cry rang out,
“They would pray for the poor.”
They would pray for us,

the poor.

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17 thoughts on “Self Medicate

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