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Die If You Must by Kevin Bryan Smith

Kevin Bryan Smith | Jun 12th, 2019 | poetry | No Comments

Poem

Poetry
is good
for nothing except

drawing soul from inside
through your fingers—
and breath from a high, tensing chest
through whispering lips—

into a kingdom that was not
until you spilled it all out,
into and
between the lines.

Did you read the fine print,
before accepting the deal
and telling how you
discovered this new land?

Did you recall—but dimly
and deep down in a
cold, unlit place—

the last time you woke from dying,
to learn that your little army had
gone on without you?

Had you seen it early you
might have balked, paused at seeing
your tribes leave the hills
and get on rails of their choosing.

The only way to resolve the
paradox is to end it,
snap the string pulling your
nagging thoughts and

bind your itchy fingers
to stop them shedding another
pile of skin
that will get up and walk away.

Die if you must—
since poetry is good for nothing,

except the pain of dying
over and over again

as each offspring
chooses its
path.

Poet Bio

Kevin Bryan Smith is a storyteller in words, music, and images. He works in public relations for a rural school system in Western North Carolina, and is a choral conductor, teacher, and tutor.

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