I did not come here to be gentle. Nevertheless.
Say gentleness like the difference between your hands
and inevitable. Say inevitable like what holds
all our lives together, still. I went out to the garden
and touched all of its scars. I called out by name
to whatever wasn't there. Was I answered, perhaps.
Was I grateful for it. Say gratitude as if we could capitulate
this: change these trellises back into vines, turn these buildings
into so many flowers. Ask the city, despite itself, to shiver
when the wind passes. Say: I did not come here
for passage. I did not pass for the scenery. I did not stay
here to be punished for it. But nevertheless: say stay
like I was here again, as if this room, as if these lips between
your ribs. Say affection and mean these animals, nameless,
their every habit of survival. Say: I did not come here to survive.
Then survive. You will understand then, perhaps,
what I mean by this, shall someday kill for it.
You will become the word that I will never speak.
By Joshua UyhengQLRS Vol. 15 No. 2 Apr 2016