Nothing Left To Lose | Poem

“Nothing left to Lose.”

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Polarized and demoralized, a once powerful nation
divides it’s law abiding citizens into bits and pieces.
Sewing ceaseless violence into the folds & creases of a worn
out reprint of the American flag.
Toe tags and body bags set the stage
for a new wave of the American dream,
where people from far and wide come to
to reside in a land of lost toys; a generation of disenfranchised
youth with an axe to grind, a purpose to find,
and a truth to unwind.

Weary travellers gather at the end of a long road
and look for a place to rest their heads
but when laying in bed
are instead met with the hum
of a thousand ghosts and counting.
The pressure’s mounting to pick a side,
but with only two choices there’s no room for the voices
caught in the middle of in-between.
It’s presents itself as riddle for
those of a different breed.
A rational mind might wonder why
we can’t break or bend or compromise.
but the TV’s just repeat, repeat, repeat…

It’s the same thing week to week,
the earth rising up to meet the feet
of mental mariners as they reach for the stars.
Steal bars and concrete
and young minds springing leaks,
glued to the edge of their seats by
the twisted realization that
blood flows in the classroom
just the same in the streets.

Plaques spawn in memorial
but like the ones before don’t do much to catch the eyes
as they pass by, locked to the floor.
Awake but searching for more than
just another day to ignore.
The libraries; silent still
but now for other reasons,
only serving to suture
the missing futures and
the empty space of urban sprawl.

It’s a shame that news is never really new
but always finds a way to monetize the pain.
Instant fame for monsters all the same,
breaking bread on the backs of the dead,
raising toast from coast to coast,
and inside your head.
A toxic tonic; sweet as summer rain.
Infiltrating brains and
staining innocence with the unmistakable stench
of identity politics and hatred.
Giving rise to a society
where you’re just as likely to be a victim,
as you are incarcerated.
And this prison we created,
this statement of the times,
spreads far beyond the walls we designed.
The monsters aren’t dead,
just inside our minds,
multiplying the divide between us.

Death has become industry
just like everything else.
One that preys on the nervous tissues of your brain
that say “kill or be killed” is the only way.
Our sense of self has become tied to the products
we pick from the shelves and guided by the reckless few
so fortunate to not have to choose between a roof and food.
But despite these troubled times
I reject the notion that my truth betrays.
Are we are dead already
and just have yet to decay?

The echo within begins as fear spread thin;
it’s the devil you know, just under your skin.
an anxious smile, a toothless grin
Whispering chaos to the home there-in.
Silence is a hollow-point in the making
and it’s yours for the taking if you if you choose
So make your voice heard
before there’s nothing left to lose.

By Devin Ott

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