about feeling like I have to fight


I Should Be Fighting So Much Harder

Every child I see 
Uses their eyes to demand 
that I fight for something. 
But only because they don’t know the right words.

Haven’t yet learned
how to form the necessary syllables to say “but why” 
with the accusation it deserves.

To sound out the sounds of sentences like: 

”Why, does everyone pretend
like everything is fine?” 

Like, “why did you care more about weekends 
than the crimes of the time?”

Like, “why the fuck did you close your eyes 
to all the glaring red signs?” 

My sister gave me a niece. 
She is beautiful with kind bright eyes 
just like her mother. 

Will grow up with the hard focus 
and soft faith of her father. 

But I don’t always like to imagine the world 
those eyes will come to focus on.

How they will look at me 
(if I am lucky enough to live so long) 
with a look that asks “but how?” 

”How do you choose to drink over think,
how can you stand proudly 
on two fully functioning feet 
Instead of marching them through the street?

How did you not see 
how every easy thing you have 
is torn from the flesh of the meek? 

How do you not smell 
how the rotting world reeks?”

It has gotten to the point 
that sometimes I can’t stop my brain
from starting to overheat. 

So I shut it off. 

I don’t mean to be mean
But my story is the same isn’t it? 
Is it my job to solve the problems I inherit? 
Can’t I just distract or parrot? 

the same sad excuses of:

don’t bother me 
I have a life to live 
this is my time god dammit 
if the world is god damned 
it’s not mine to save. 
maybe the planet planned it.”

Then I see the questions waiting behind a watchful child’s eyes. 
Know they will ask me if I tried. 
Know they will wonder if I cried 
in a nice comfortable bed — 

instead of fighting. 
Of tying myself to the tops of tall buildings 
and demanding the lighting. 

And if that doesn’t work, 
then strapping a battery to my back 
and doing my own god damn damning and striking. 

Instead of quitting my job 
and my “but maybe” 
and my false fake fucking sense 
of fake false fucking safety. 

I almost fear children
for the day they will shame me
and how they make the call to fight feel so right.

Copyright 2017 by Paul Curry