Aras Acolipeps

May 9, 2007 - Sanibel Island
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Broken

They brought me into
a broken world.
They told me to make
a better place.
But before I became
an adult,
they blamed me
for their broken world.
And they blamed me
for being broken.
But how am I meant
to not be broken?
For I was
born broken,
raised broken,
in a broken world,
by broken people,
to be broken.

If I was whole,
the broken people
would call me
broken
until I became so.
My world has been broken
since the beginning.
How am I supposed to fix
something that has always
been this way?
How can I make it
better
when I don’t know what better
looks like?
And now that I am broken,
they take my broken pieces
and make me piece myself
together,
like I am whole.
But I was
born broken,
raised broken,
in a broken world,
by broken people,
to be broken.

I have fulfilled my duty,
for I am broken the way they like.
But now it is time,
to attempt the futile,
to fix this broken world
and blame us broken children.
I am wet clay,
and they have shaped me
in the image of their god,
the vision of their future.
But my wet clay body
has dried out
under the sun of a yesterday
that I have since forgotten,
and now my bones have breaks,
my seams are screaming,
and my clay is cracked.
They call me the future,
but I see no sign of tomorrow.
Because I am broken,
and my parents are broken,
because their parents were broken,
and,
though I did not know them,
I’m sure their parents were broken too.
Because we were
born broken,
raised broken,
in a broken world,
by broken people,
to be broken.

And even so,
I did the work,
I do the work,
I’ll do the work.
But I break a little more
each day,
so the work isn’t quite
like it was before.
But even so,
I fixed the world,
I fix the world,
I’ll fix the world.
But I break a little more
each day,
so the world isn’t quite
like it was before.
Because I was
born broken,
raised broken,
in a broken world,
by broken people,
to be broken.

I wonder what
your world was like,
before it was broken
by you
and your father
and his father.
Were your skies blue?
Mine are gray,
an atmosphere burnt
by “progress” and space junk.
Was your snow cold?
Mine is melted,
washed away with
the warmth of December.
Did your birds sing?
Mine are dead,
choked on lead,
poisoned like our children.
I don’t think I can make
a better world
where skies are blue,
where snow is cold,
where birds still sing,
because I was broken
from the start.
I was
born broken,
raised broken,
in a broken world,
by broken people,
to be broken.

I have forgotten,
the warmth of a sun
on my browned skin.
And the smell of
fresh rain
in the air,
soaking my clothes,
which plaster themselves
on my body.
The sound of a thunderclap,
one, two, three miles away.
A sky that was blue,
with hot Summer wind.
We don’t have seasons
in my broken world,
not anymore.
And I can’t remember
yesterday,
but I can feel it.
I can taste it.
When laughter rang in my ears,
and the air tasted sweet
with the smell of May flowers.
It was delicious.
My children will never know
the taste of the air,
the color of the sky,
the sound of thunder,
the smell of rain,
the feel of warmth.
Because they will be
born broken,
raised broken,
in a broken world,
by broken people,
to be broken.

But they brought us into the world,
my beautiful, boring, broken world,
and they told us to save it,
for they had burned the world down.
So they gave us the matches,
fed us kerosine,
and then fanned our flames.
And as this broken world
disappears,
I will disappear too.
And,
because I am broken,
I will cry like our children,
I will lie like our men,
I will die like our women.
For I break beautifully,
and who could resist such a sight?
And this world will rot until the green,
a color I know not,
takes hold.
And it will flourish.
It will be whole.
Unbroken.
And when that time comes,
I will not be broken,
because I will be one
with the green,
and I will not tremble
like I do today.
But now,
I am broken
because I was
born broken,
raised broken,
in a broken world,
by broken people,
to be broken.
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