by Michelle Ma
(St Paul, MN, USA)


When you are young you hear about the Presidents
like George Washington and his crossing of the Delaware
they are heroes without the complication of disorganization
frightfully wonderful in their virtue
their personalities neglect a vital sin
Later the heroes are complicated
just as you used to adore your parents
and they seemed to hold so much truth and power
you disparage them in your adolescence
and mock them for what they fail to do
only to reconcile at a later stage of life
What is innocence when evil shapes so many things
what are the beatitudes when people at church meetings are so boring
they tidy up their lives by being good, and hold that they will go to heaven
by remembering only the ones they love and never learning from the stranger
the city is where the stranger belongs, because he has courage and better stamina
the town is for people to not collide, because they cannot imagine things differently than they are
what artist is actually entitled; it is years of work, marking and polishing each word or brush stroke
each part, to emancipate the whole, so that it shines in glory, perhaps more gloriously than the portrayals of Jesus
it is brave to give oneself to the church, but yet to plead ignorance to many of its teachings
and to go to hell because of forgetfulness, and lack the sacred blessing

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