we talked about the weather

The forecast is a scattered mess,
and the Cleveland skies are bitter.
I flip the coins held in my hand,
to look for a familiar face.

A weighted series of facts
don’t sum up to what’s deserved.
I blink to clear my murky vision,
but the faces staring past
are still too bleakly blurred.

I took the first extended hand,
and I gripped it far too tightly.
I thought there’d be a shutter
before the final gasp of air.

Compared to what I’m standing for
where I’m sitting’s all the ways away,
and I’m thinking flutter-thoughts of what
I’ll never catch my breath to say.

But I’ve said it all
I’ve said too much
I’ve negotiated with no one
for nothing in particular,
as a heavy-handed optimist
is unwatching hardly waiting
for another steep decline
internally conflicted
by the existential crisis
of learning how
to gratefully complain

No optimists in present tense
just pairs of eyes turned to the ground
My eyes are down and the sky is blue
and there are footsteps stomping overhead.

But I wouldn’t won’t can’t tell them
what choice they ought to instead choose.
Bring marshmallows and your popping corn
We fight fear and hate with firewood.

I want to live a billion years
but I only get a few.
I want to learn a thousands ways
to do what I will never do.
I want to stand my ground and
walk a mile in your shoes.
I want to forget far away and
remember the untruth.

I want what I will never have:
I want the right to choose
from options carefully curated
by those who know
someone always has to lose.

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