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07. Keep Forgiving

by Levi The Poet


keep forgiving. when all is not what you thought it was. when the lynch mob pulls back the curtain on all that is ferocious and majestical,
well we are each of us small men to varying degrees, projecting the great and powerful oz with booming voices so much louder than we are confident.

keep forgiving. when you hate what you loved. i donít want to be a pendulum swinging from one ivory tower to another. not everyone is competition. i pray for you on the days that i pray for my enemies (the same days that i pray for myself). life tends to beat the binaries out of you. itís healthy when you and I become we, but weíve got to

keep forgiving. if you write for everybody, you write for no one. so i write for my friends. iíve watched all of them grope for understanding like a pipe dream. heard everything theyíve said through eyes watering, wondering if God really hates them as much as they think he does in the deafening, inarticulable silence. their lips are all sealed the same not because they have nothing to say but because none of them know how to say it and neither do i. maybe you can relate.

keep forgiving. that goes for yourself as much as anyone.

keep forgiving. when pledged allegiances poison the body, and civil war breaks out between limbs and you tuck your children into bed at night remembering the way you treated their mother as somehow less than, though you are the offspring of yours without the power to multiply and you would not be here without her, and neither would they. perspective, perspective. and the last shall be first and she deserves every trophy for being your trophy for so long. iím sorry.

keep forgiving me. this goes both ways, with fingers for pistols firing indictments and blame at celebrities as machines i made, the bullets - sometimes - stand to temporarily tame the bitterness, but itís still self-medicated anger, and the gun shot residue only fans the flames. iíve heard you say that fostering the festering pain is a match struck in the forest, and the faintest whisper: enough of a gust to set it ablaze.

keep forgiving. did it set your skin on fire as a boy trying to reconcile how a father could hurt you like that? i used the past like funeral pyre thinking i could burn it away (and tie you to the stake while iím at it). i wanted to be the broken link in the chain, but when i set the torch to timber, it was i who found myself burning from the inside out, and i see how hell is as here and now as anywhere else.

keep forgiving. have pity. is there a drop of water for my tongue? i used scissors to fork it and spoke blood, spoke blood and tinctured the saliva to serve on a sponge. called it compassion. called it death by love. well, no wonder weíre so hellbent on hanging someone.

keep forgiving. when the disconnect seems to beat the poetry out of you, and the joy isnít quite there but you canít quite remember where or why it went, and the lenses protecting your vision continue to cloud and spread reflecting eyes as opaque as the dimly lit mirror theyíre doubling up on just for the hell of it Ė well it was never just for the hell of it, but who really believes that in the midst of the dispersion, or setting a broken bone? the bloodletting felt like murder, but you had to get the poison out of me.

keep forgiving. when we come brandishing swords for the ears of those who spoke to what they should have given over to silence. when i steal the right to vengeance. when i think that i am justified in my anger like holding onto it is doing something other than picking at wounds that i donít have the scope to see as a cell block - solitarily confined with the pus at neck level.

keep forgiving. when the memories of what was threaten to shut your heart down, and the laughter you can still hear from the mouths of friends who are no longer around make you wish that you could change the channel. if you write for everybody, you write for no one, so this will be for you.

keep forgiving as forgiven. as every pointer finger bent backwards and broken like the moment all of my indictments return to me, and the bullets ricochet straight back in on my gunsightsÖ well this is a small lens from which to view the world.

keep forgiving as forgiven. we donít always get to wear the white hat. pardon is not always preceded by repentance. in fact, i think itís exactly the opposite. if it were not for love, i would have never come back.

keep forgiving. you canít unsee what youíve seen, but the world is colorful, ferocious and majestic without small men or straw men or me to blow smoke and mirrors from our machinery. the toggle switch is reductionistic. let the pin go. decrease.

hate is a prison.

keep forgiving.

keep forgiving me.

iíve told my stories, but theyíre yours.

you may never get your apology. on the day you do, it may not mean a thing.

keep forgiving.




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