Every Leaf is a Message, Every Feather a Map

Everything was already happening
in the countries of our future,

where fishermen had been unloading
their catch since dawn.

What could be carried was threaded
through and butterflied;

the rest were taken in carts
to the market and sold

to the highest bidder. Meanwhile,
the courts filled with judges

in robes as white as their hair.
There were always two sides in every

hall: all along one sat the mothers
and daughters and wives. On the other,

the mayors and governors or heads
of state, trying not to show

their fear or loathing or liking
of war. We were in the streets

as always; or in between homes.
We wrote chronicles of our dead

and massacred, our exiled and un-
lawfully detained. We painted their

pictures, dropped boats and ladders
into songs. Everything we did, we

were trying to do for our future selves:
we dreamt of how we'd take possession

of the gates and hold them open,
setting birds free with our hands.

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