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Apr 2016
The ambivalent affect of a cold cup of tea 
On a snowy day, late March 
When everything rings of life and death and urgency 
Like our elliptical elections  
With their Messiah complexes  
Like Thursday desks and tables 
Green tea tainted with undertones of unwashed coffee 
Lingering in the pores of mugs 
The politics of shame 
And all the things I wish I told you 
(I wish I had told someone) 
But cyclical realities are ultimate realities 
And I've chosen mine already 
Woven with interchanging self-destruction 
And re-composition 
Dull, dualistic  
And dripping from my forehead 
Did I mention Thursday? 
Did I mention scars? 
Shall we move to new and different places 
And leave ourselves behind?
Burdens like sticky, heaving blackberries 
Molten, melting, gooey, globbed together and leaking  
Through the cracks in my straw basket 
Dropping berries walking paths to places 
Falling like blood-bombs 
One by one on the white-brick 
Walking silence into sunsets  
And never looking back at the 
Rotting plasma carnage  
That marks the roads I travelled 
What's left are leaves and stalks and thorns 
A basket dyed dark red and sticky 
Me, poised and paralyzed  
Gasping, gagging, groping in my liberation 
For places that never existed 
    That never will 
Crying stories that never happened 
Fearing creatures never born 
Blisters and bruises, 
Beckoned to oceans 
In the soft-tide I saw my future 
In the undertow, my past 
Riding the waves with crystal foam  
And diaspora trash 
All my chunky sins intermingled with salt and seaweed.
Questions burn me
Bind and blind me
Battered and bleeding 
Left helpless on the floor 
And they yell  
Learn faster!
Learn better, learn well!
If pain leads to the deepest learning 
Then I will know so very much 
Muffled and maimed I'll sink in it 
Docile in the knowing of things.
Facts and figures
Factors, functions, fractions
And formulas
Here are the things I know
Splintered, smiling, basking in their blinding light
They’re my diamonds, my precious disasters.
They are my welcomed death.

Eyes open and perceive
Taking stock of the surroundings
A blood-burned path of blackberries and scar tissue
My knobby-spine leaning against a tree trunk
Sea breeze, and my aura
Free-floating but defeated
Affected ambivalently by these words
By worlds
Spirits and bodies and
Torn flesh and minds
Still always cold questions
Still always early Thursdays
Willing to draw more breath
Willing to keep walking
To keep working
To keep breathing
And bleeding.
Ariel Baptista
Written by
Ariel Baptista  Montreal, Quebec
(Montreal, Quebec)   
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