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When the Radical Lands a Desk Job (Taylor McCleery Sloey- Lafayette, LA)

Sixteen months ago-
You stopped speaking
To put your hands to work
And from this silenced tongue
have gained nothing more than lost convictions
and a shocking
lack of praise and support
Reverberating from the
the dirt embedded in the cracks of your hands
It doesn’t sing the way you used to
You used to spit dynamite from a soap box weekly
Igniting every wick that heard it
You used to write angry poetry, and paint
Wear obscene clothing just to get a rise out of old people
You used to throw rallies for Africa
Fuck- you used to care about Africa
And you used to promise yourself- that you wouldn’t be one to become a silent complacent
So darling- SPEAK
Because trees falling in the woods don’t make a sound unless you do-
open your throat and let the words free fall out of you
The way unprovoked rage used to when you were a teenager-
Like- sloppy public kissing when you’re drunk enough but old enough to know better
Like- how you used to write songs for every boy you fell for and another when he fucked you over
But before you got fucked over so many times that you ran out of melodies
Let it flow-
The way optimism used to before you knew heartbreak
Child, your eyes are blue
too young for cynicism
and these newly forming lines in your visage
Were only put there from laughter
And too much time in the sun
And you’ve loved every second of it
Right down to the scars on your feet
So sing-
No one’s waiting to turn you down

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