Daniela Naomi Molnar: Chorus 4/Elsewise

If I can look
this morning at my eyes
what does the rest, elsewise
have to do?

Metronome beat of rain in drainpipe
creamy dogwood bracts pointing all four directions
mourning dove mourning dove mourning
in the zinc-bright rain
a heron flies to the city’s last swamp

I’ve noticed how many good hearts have to stop
to keep me clothed and fed
I’ve noticed the callouses on other hands
the splinters in paw pads
the burrs in black feathers that, elsewise, ought to fly

Weighted ends of the baton
filled with viscous glitter gel
that I used to twirl up
and down the hot driveway
a march a weft
to weave the spinning

Where’s the baton now
cracked plastic, glitter gel
oozes into ocean floor or smears
into chemical heat in some foreign dump
where brown children I’ll never, elsewise, meet
walk orbits for what might pay
what might clothe and feed

I’ve noticed chatty atoms can sustain or kill
and there seems to be no will involved
no ethics or polarity no gauge
I’ve no grip on that war

So far, today
I’ve noticed how a nation
can turn its weapons on itself
like I could choose to crush my toe bones to dust
or hole punch my eyes just by looking

Standing in the kitchen eating toast
I tell myself I’m harmless
I only want what I don’t have

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