Poverty

after Fernando Pessoa
“Wise is he who enjoys the show offered by the world.”

How you make us smile. How you make us live before dying. How you make us need to exchange for a piece of bread. How you make us survive in order to keep the breath. The inhale and release. How you make us turn to greed, the love of gold cows, contaminated goods.  This costs nothing. How you make us scuttle about for worth in this place. How you make us fear poverty—that indomitable crush of the human spirit. How you make us keep a ceaseless pace, one that can avenge innocence. How you make us dirty, unworthy, pathetic and disjointed. How can you be conquered? Like pain, you exist to make us all weary of ourselves. How can we  accept you? How you create murder summoned from the destitute and angry. How do you redeem yourself every time the division of goods remains unjust? How you advise us that there is never enough among the petty and fortuitous. They must have more.  How you cause the famines and disease to spread themselves like a virus over the most sacred temples of earth’s nature to make us weak and fragile. How you make us decay. There we are before you: hunched over, shoulders slumped, retreating from ourselves, destitute and tired of living. How you kill everything that was in place long before you arrived to take as much as you could so that you could inform us of how much we are missing. How there is so much more that we cannot have. How you lie to us. And your lies are so rich, so grand, so full of creamy coloured preserved butter and artificial honey. How you give us the missing pieces—the ones that know no caress of goodness. How it dwells—we so desperate for its sting. How you make us become immune to malice. How you leave it to us to see ourselves to sift like a snake on the ground without venom. How you make us smile.

 

 

 

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