Firing Line

What happens when you pull the wings off a fly? Salt on a slug, paint down the drain. Where does all the hurt go? What part of the earth absorbs the mistakes? What happens when you burn your own house to keep warm through the night? What do you do when the water rises, when the salty brine climbs up your nostrils and down your throat? You’re afloat in your own disconnection, I can see it in your milky eyes. You’re lost to the steady rhythm of all things. This is for our would-be leaders and decision-makers, those who play with fire and expect not to be burned. It comes around; actions, reactions, and the profound persistence of every living thing. This is not wishful nor vengeful thinking. It’s physics.

Firing Line

When they took you from your homeland,
When they cut you down,
When the devil broke the silence,
Did you hope that you’d been found?

Who has taught you all this wanting?
Who has left you so without?
Where’s the hole now in your middle?
Shall I fill it up with salt?

And in your darkest hour,
When it comes your time,
How you gonna hold your head
In the firing line?

You would barter all the mountains.
You would trade away the sea.
You would sell you mother’s body
For a taste of something sweet.

And in my arms now when I hold you, and
Whisper softly in your ear –
Though you tell me you are sleeping,
I know that you can hear

My simple song of sorrow,
My offering of peace.
Let me take you to the water;
Let me wash your weary feet

In your darkest hour,
When it comes your time,
How you gonna hold your head
In the firing line?

(c) Kesia Nagata 2018

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