Dear World

By Kate Nerone, TIWP student

If I had lived forever,
And was baptized in the first
Explosive sunrise,
And kissed upon the head
By a mother of salt and dirt
And seeds,
I would tell the world
Not to hurt her.

If I had lived forever,
And had ripened amid the music
Of dialects and tongues long
Wrenched from the wind and the village,
I would tell the world
To choose their words thoughtfully.

If I had lived forever,
And crawled out from trenches and chambers,
And had stretched my tender legs
Inside sheets of armor,
And breached soft soles against stricken glass,
And learned to throw with grenades and spears,
And hold my breath under water and under fire,

I would tell the world
To hate, if they dare
After hearing every story.

If I had lived forever,
And stood upright
Among the ashes of tall buildings
And breathed steady through
Flash flood prejudices

If I had consummated my affections
For all the world
Under a mesh canopy of stars
That veiled me thinly
From biting pests and
All the manufactured notifications fluorescent
In the downtown,
I would tell the world
To love
A little more
Than is easy.

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