Traditional Brass: Poetry

(This is dedicated Officers Velázquez & Pascucci. As promised, here is "T.B." Best wishes to you and your families. Be well.)

We stand here in trenches
dug before we ever
took our first breaths,
in the daylight,
in the darkness,
with our eyes like
translucent glass
We see

Yes, we see

The traditional
brass of a shield
that can't keep the eyes
from bearing witness
to the urban asylum of the soul

There are predators here
no jungle could birth,
despair here that
no poet can escape
and once seen
cannot be erased into
the subtle perfume
of distant memory

What binds my heart
sometimes is viewing
that predictable tango,
witnessing ill-made choices,
the senselessness,
the waste
echoed in some lives that
can't be reached until they
are too late to save

My weapon in my pen,
my shield is my art,
I've heard a calling also
and rose to duty
I'm just a scribe here,
a documenter,
forging words in the fires
of the heart and mind,
my appearance is as much
a uniform as yours,
my traditional brass of
librarian, artsy flare

Like you,
it renders me all
but invisible

Because I don't fit
inside the urban asylum
so loud and boisterous
and drama-laden,
yet bursting with
silent screams
of unlived dreams
gone up like so much smoke

And so I write and paint,
my solo patrol,
in hopes that one day,
those works will exist
in an urban utopia
that I can't yet see
but my heart feels....

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