No Matter What by Stephen A. Dantes



No matter what you take away from me, no
matter what you say to me, no matter
how you treat me, I will stand firm…

Yea, right!

Humanity tires of caged hurt and pampered fear, it
beguiles wanton, no time for delusion of
cornerstone promise or stance in fight for self.

No tear at mention,
A comfort only to those with limits;
laid back, back track,

If I could count days and times, and back date
clocks on walls, and erase shadows under
historical suns, I would still feel void of wit,
I would still melt at presence and fear and nerves,

I would still see faces watching, onlookers
hiding and heeding no calls, as brothers fall
and fail they must, in a society that calls asunder
the young, and rejects the old. I would see shame.

That lie they’ve told you and me, about being able
and willing, about a better tomorrow with smiles and
sugar days sweet like honeycomb bees sting
to defend, it matters.

You can claim your lack of fright that scares and rips
pains, peeled from flesh like banana, from bodies
walking like zombies on borrowed time,
you can call it what you want.

I am not the prodigal son of my time. I am scum
on feet of theirs. I am drums on beats,
fears with rhythms pulsating, calling on to free
from within its own being, I am them.

Not a matter of fact, but it matters to be factual.
I need to expose my scars, reveal my inclinations to
world, render myself as another man, only a
man, as mortal and vulnerable as them.

As trifling as I could, I stand on grounds shaken, weakened
in structure and bare – my stance another rejection of self, a
traitor to wills and bonds, a fugitive
of hurt. I can’t pretend;

Pretend like I do not bleed. I am not superhuman, I can’t
defend to death. I love life. Words spoken cannot
be erased, why fight a losing battle?
Yesterday is already written on pages stolen,

Pages imprinted in memories sealed to age like wine.
You can put up walls and create illusions of bliss, or
juxtapose faith and promise and still be
faced with this – ever present and yet be broken.

Lives taken don’t mean much gone, oppression must
find an unassuming prey and do what it must as through
the ages, and I will still be just another boy, not man,
shouting; no matter.

My story is not new and neither is yours.
History has shown and continues, even
when ideas revolt and peoples walk, even
when nations plunder and Earth’s anger subsides.

What has to be will be, in this time
and in the next, with or without us.  So it matters,
and most probably always will; laid back, back track illusion –
a place where no matter resides.



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