Teeth of the young lions: A poem

Pixabay/Creative Commons

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but first let’s set the scene: 


when I was a child I always had this vision of us as glass. 

someone tapped too hard one day          and we shattered

into shards of sharp splinters            in each other’s backs.


the temperatures that summer were record high, said reporters.

so we ripped off our sleeves.                  we let our veins hang free.

we closed our eyes                  against the beating heart of the sun.


who are we if we are not deconstructing each other’s breathing patterns, 

if we are not digging each other’s graves       until dawn arrives uninvited

as the birdsongs become warnings              that we shouldn’t tempt death.


so everyone else gave up but I stayed in the backyard digging those graves,

possessed by the city where my feet become           impossibly heavy,  laden

with the whispers of what was,                                      and what will never be.


like the sons and daughters of Job, we will die together and trembling.

by now we know we are going nowhere and somewhere         but never

everywhere.              the farthest we will go is six feet under the ground.


so I spent hours digging those graves with my calloused hands bleeding.

they spent hours lying in them,                                                rehearsing for 

the release we know is eons away,               the release we will never earn.


wipe the dirt off your faces.           come back inside.


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Alex Jiménez is the Weekender editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @alexluceli.

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