Poem 8

How in the world did it come to this? She looked around him as the crowd lost its patience. Stones were thrown around. There was no distinction between the factions; there was only the unified anger that drove them. The anarchy brought about blood, and they bathed. They consumed the feast, drank the blood and chewed the meat. Next to her, a man had a piece of his friend in his hands; a lopped off arm. The body was nowhere to be found. The streets were riddled with rubble as homemade explosives tore open cars and roads. Streetlights became voids of swirling darkness, as each one was put out. The mischievous roamed free. The looters stole their fill. The immortal died. The dead rose. The land was scorched. The storm rose and fell like the tides of the sea.

And in the midst of it all, she stood. Tears, in her eyes as she wept for the world; as she wept for the searing flesh. As the lovers slew each other in matrimonial anger. As the fornicators made sweet love in the streets. As the musicians strummed their strings. As the cooks grilled the bodies. As the soldiers advocated peace. As the murderers saved lives. As the doctors poisoned. The world was in random ruin. The heartbroken, the many, came and held hands, united in their loss of love. They were beat down by the rioters, by the government, by the soldiers, by the landowners, and they were shunned. The world cried for help and they watched. Unsure of what to do, they watched. Until she cried. Until she knelt before them and cried. Until her sorrowful wails of discontent with society reached their ears. They pulled her from the flame, not more than 5 years ago. They pulled her away, and years passed. The unloved loved, and she had forgotten to love back. Now she stands in regret, and they watch her burn.

Then she realized. She realized that they had taught her the most valuable lesson she could ever learn. She put it to work, and it took years. The fire scarred her, but it was to be her masterpiece. Her gratitude. Her thank you. Her gift. And the rioters stoned her, the soldiers shot her, the church excommunicated her, the government revoked her rights, the people around her shunned her, and her only love, held only contempt for her. But they did not see past her. They did not see the canvas upon which she would paint. The canvas of change. It was to be filled.

She, and with her paintbrush painted them all. With her tears, she painted the sky and the sea. With the green from her eyes, she painted the trees. With the brown from her skin, she painted the earth. With the white of her nails, she painted the clouds and the stones. With the pink from her lips, she painted the roses and babies. With all she could find within herself, she took it and placed it on the canvas. Her organs, her liver, her kidneys, her lungs, her intestines, her muscles. She surrendered it all to the canvas.

She changed the world, and died with it.

Years later, though. Generations past where truth became myth and myth became reality. The canvas burned. The fire, only covered, burned through her painting and the world was once more in anarchy. Out of the garbage, her paintbrush waited. The paintbrush used to create a world of good, lost in the rubble of time.

I knew what it was when I saw it, but I joined the riot. I took a side, and I fought. And now, upon my deathbed, I can only say that my one regret was that I never picked up that brush. If I’d met her, I’d have fallen in love with her. They said I had potential, though I never used it. I could have used that brush, to save us. Now, I impart this to you, for you to learn from the mistakes of a fool. Good luck.

(c) AnachronicWorks 2011


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