Reader Poem by Lisa Cheby

Lisa Cheby sent us this reader poem, inspired by the prompt, “Dying shouldn’t be so brutal.”

Living shouldn’t be so brutal

Will our cousins from Curacao, the Muslims, come to kill us?

It’s a question of motive, a violent collision between
sides picked long ago, in a chapel on a hill, perhaps, with gold-

colored glasses that air brush us into a chaotic landscape,
pock-marked with the lives of people who needed someplace

to place a flowerpot – the women, the queers, the artists, the thinkers,
even the Muslims, the poor, the spiritual-but-not-religious, the blacks and
the grays – we owe each other everything. Which is why we make it

brutal through our resistance. We fear our own hot breath:
it was just here, a minute a go, in front of our faces, yet we forgot
that it exists at all, a nether world outside our vision as elusive as

a pendulum: someone has less, someone has more. All bodies dissolve,
until even the memory of the body is gone, just the aftertaste of the fingerprint
bruise, established in the last millennium, tucked in the drawer waiting

for someone to call Uncle, “we owe each other everything.”
Hold on, I still have more.