They will treat us as disposable in life,
The young, the old, and the free.
They’ll call us mindless agents,
When we seek is a clear path for
A sustainable future, of hope
That doesn’t cost anyone else’s loss.

And after death,
They will desecrate our graves,
Shut down our memories and our shrines.

Raise the stakes.
Their shadow-boxing holds false substance.
Make them see colours
And a vibrancy to our way of living that
Cannot be contained.
Watch their eyes as you ask, again and again,
“Don’t you want to go home to a kind
And loving society that treasures everyone?”

Make them see that the basis of their gain,
Their greed, their children’s inheritance,
Will be threatened if even a few of us die.

You catch my gaze across the distance.
Many months later, you’re wondering
About the smallness of the world,
Or about the smallness of us.
I can’t remember if I’ve kept a secret or ten,
Or spread them like open-handed cards,
When I’m at my worst and my best.
You used to sing me sonnets,
Interject cosily between my breaths,
Until my silences got too heavy.
My “I don’t love you” is a crippling hymn,
But at least you’ve memorized
Some parts of me before I can avert my eyes.
I don’t know if I can stand it sometimes
All the vices of me against the world,
And I tell you not to wait for me.
But you tell me to “Don’t stand then,
Swim,” as if it’s that simple.
But who am I to question if it is?
Maybe it’s true that I don’t love much at all
But the firmness of your smile under a tide.
That we’re equally adrift, outside-looking-out,
Beckoning each other like two gravitating,
Wild islands, in the smallness of the world.