If we all stopped praying
to gods we don’t believe in,
If we all stopped saying
“that’s not me”, that’s not me
who fights your wars,
that’s not me who picks your food,
who cleans your house, who hides
behind the yellow lettering
working the cash register, nickels clicking through my fingers.

if we all stopped hiding
behind the cardboard cutouts the world assigns us to,
if we all honored who we were
and what lay beyond the reaches
of our vision, like the treasures we stuff
into the worn pockets of our jeans
as little kids and discover later.
Would we remember?

Would we remember what it feels like
to be young in cutoffs and sneakers
and shirts that sported stains of wear and tear and love?

If we let ourselves love
the summer rains and the taste of green beans
from the garden

If we stopped
spending money we don’t have
to buy things we don’t need
to impress people we don’t like
would we live again?

Could we say “no more” to Columbus
and the coal companies
who own the land we stand on and our home?
Could we tell them “no one’s gonna
fucking care about your fresh-minted bills”
When the blue marble we live on is torn-up
like decorations after a party?

If we just stopped worshipping,
stopped listening,
stopped living in the margins of
someone else’s money-making scheme,
would we know we worship
the god of our defeat?

– Ella Jaz Kirk, 2014

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