Millennial Poem

By Mikael De Lara Co

The enemy of poetry
is certainty. That’s what I say.
Then how to write a poem
about my country, 2017?
Easier to write about earthquakes.
My apartment building sits on a fault.
One evening I was shaken awake
…or is it woke? Shook? Shookt?
My young friends explain
the value of a hashtag.
I say my shelves full of poetry
were shookt empty in the last earthquake.
I say stay away from adverbs, adjectives:
It is not gruesome; it is not cruel.
It is an ear torn from a body.
It is a body filled/unfilled with a knife, 30 times.
It is a knife held by some other hand
and you holding your hand to your mouth
as you look at the body 
that can never be woke.
How to be ambivalent
in my country, 2017?
I am angry. 
My son is about to be born.
He will have to learn to hold
gruesomeness, cruelty, despair
using two small hands.
That night of the quake
I found myself kneeling on the floor,
gathering books of poetry,
stacking them on the shelves.
The knives are in the kitchen.
My hands remain mine.

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