The Debate

The Debate

I stand ocean-like and steady

in deep trenches dug around us

your yelling is only drowned out

by the sound of machinery

and gunfire

yet I hear you still, always

your voice in my ears as clear as day

you could whisper any soundless word

and I would hear what you have to say

in my life you have been entrenched too long

for any kind of mutism or deafness

between the two of us

even when I wish I could drown you out

my feet are planted in the ground

my roots reach deep for water long since dried

there is your voice again; your accent smooth

your tongue it curls

another critic, another argument

everything is a debate on the battlefield

won in the spray of bullets

won in words said forcefully enough

I point to the battlefield and say: mark your enemies

direct your eyes at this threat before us

your enemy is emperor-sweet and raining fire

I am – empress-cold and bleeding water

but when you scream, it is at me

you are flame-drenched and red

and frustrated at me, for pointing

there is gunfire, drowning out your words;

but I would know the shape of your lips in the dark

I would know the words you say even if I were dead

I have memorised them even as you call me

repressed and scared – for not taking this discussion

there is gunfire, coming towards us, I say

your comment: we can deal with it later

(the bullets are going really fast, really; you should duck)

there; your frustration; I must carry it as well

along with my own turmoil

this debate is an important one to have

and I agree, I do: but there is water up to my knees

and fire in your hair (and on your tongue)

please, I say, a bullet-storm is not the kind of wind you can survive

please, the fire is spreading

and the water is rising

yes, you say, that is exactly the problem – something must be done

I think – and this is just my opinion –

you could begin by getting out of the way

or else learn to swim; or become fireproof; or turn your face

towards the ones firing the bullet that will pierce your skin

and leave me to stem the flow of

red-water-hot-fire blood that is soaking us both

What are you looking for?