Collective Unrest

 

Isaiah

May 6, 2019

Like the future, few things can be said
for the poem.
But like the future, a few things can be said:

Either revolution will sweep the streets—
bare hurricane winds across tarmac flattening
banks into barricades against tanks clacking
down on them—and boil them away like a sun-
scratched oasis,
or it will fail in one of these clauses.
If it fails, we existed. Please tell our children.

But if it doesn’t, revolution again will rise
from the grave to set right its tilted
spin toward error, revision, and the crooked
path of all prior iterations. It will blast
its trumpet, scrape the cracked teeth
of towers it built before it knew itself
and turn them into windmills to blow a gale

out of hell down new streets paved by the dead
revolutionaries who have nothing to do
with current conditions.

And there will be lovers
and enemies who love each other
like brothers. And they will exchange wisdom,
and verses, and lead.

And that’s all that can be said
of the future and its poem,
and if these two things fail
please tell our children.

 

Justin lives in Kennesaw, Georgia with his partner and three children. His work has appeared previously in Rattle Magazine and Barren Magazine. He can be found on Twitter @JustinKBriley.

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