I say we because

by Michael E. Woods

I don’t want the responsibility
to stick like resin on my tongue
alone, I want to be part
of this bloodstained pedigree,
no matter the lack of soap
in our kitchen,
I want to pretend
like we are all perfect patriots
fighting for the same flag,
one woven from disdain for toms shoes
(the shadows of sentiments)
and threaded with our sweat-soaked
body hair.

I say we because it’s much easier
to conjugate
these knives and kisses
when they fall
and set their grooves
on our coffee tables.
Though weak links may shorten my fences,
we have rocks and shovels
always on hand;
still, you are not on watch tonight
and we want the experience of kites in rainstorms.

I want to be a we but only
when we are ready.
I am certainly

unprepared for communion
where the wine tastes sweet
like victory over inaction,
and the bread cracks
in our cherry tomato fingers
and in my feeble lemon grasp
like the sidewalks outside.

I want to be a we,
without these fruits and tools
and knives and kisses, but
we are not.

Michael E. Woods studies Creative Writing as an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University. He is currently studying at the University of Regensburg, Germany, where is working on his first chapbook, Horses Like Gods. Several of his works have appeared/are forthcoming in the undergraduate literary journal The Vanderbilt Review.

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