19 February 2016

A Reclaiming

Like all colonisers, I am desperate
despite my power and obvious good will.

I wouldn't ask for too much; all I want
is a little control, some moderate demands fulfilled.
Do let me know. My army is tired. I can fight
if need be, but peaceful compromise and bargain
works just as well for me. Perhaps better.

To be honest, my army
is somewhere else. My army
is resting. Is asleep. Has forgotten.

But I have maps. I have plans. I have
the good old tried-and-tested friend and foe
called Fate on my side. This is a war
I will win, because I have no choice.

My mirror smirks at me, and I am forced
to smirk back. I do not feel like smirking.
I feel tired.

It is a simple operation. Requires no navy.
No toothbrush factories. No war photographers.

If I must be candid for the media, I will tell them
all I want is a rightful right. A returning. A recovery.
All I want, I will tell them with straight face, is to

reclaim my life. Name my cities my own.
Tell my various people to unite under me.
Organise filing cabinets, judicial offices.

I have been lost for so long. Somebody
dethroned me, but it was only me. I have been
wandering deserts, travelling like one who has
no home. Perhaps I have no home. This loss
smells like the sea, and leaves me breathless
and wanting.

A reclaiming would be heavenly. A reclaiming
would be wonderful. I could feel less like a stranger
in the cities of my hometown, the countries of my skin.

This is a war
I don't know how to fight.
This is a war
where fate has predicted every outcome.
To be honest, I was lying earlier. Like every
good coloniser. This is a war I might never win.
This is a war that will never begin. Perhaps this is
not even my war. Perhaps I should move to a quieter suburb.
Perhaps deserts are all that are left, and I can name my desire
Thirst, and be done with it. This is a war and a lifetime
where struggle is always too soon and too late, never any use.
Perhaps I wasn't lying all the way. This is not a war. This is a
reclaiming. I will never win. My desire will skim the horizon
and I will always be left behind. Just by a few steps. Just a few.
This is the kind of conflict that settles in hair and smells of smoke
and is always newly born. I could not lose this if I tried. I could not
lose. Could not erase the past. Could not recreate the past. Could not.
Could not. Could not. Could be good. Would be left, dry desert,
mirthless thirst, a fragment, a wildness, a lonely piece of driftwood.

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