Unspoken Possibilities

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There’s a certain conditioning in giving donations induced

by incisive cashiers who keep staring and inciting guilty feelings.

What happens if you are from the country they claim to want to eradicate

poverty from? Should I be helped, too?

In Brazil, they advise you never to give money to people in the streets

because you might be robbed in the process, while in Canada I find the

subject improper.

Are they all immigrants or Natives? Is that politically correct?

How much can you compare poverty without sounding

obnoxious or privileged?

I don’t know how much you need to lack in order to speak out.

“Why do you come here?” He asks me, with nervous rashes popping

through his knees. I am here as a volunteer but the idea still scares me.

I’ve been to a few mental institutions before and I don’t like them.

“Have I told you about the time I was mugged outside a pet store?”

Every day, before his meals are served, he counts his scars, three in each

knee, after a fight in the institution.

Trembling trees, outdoors with political statements, promises to diminish

unemployment, and all of a sudden it is fall again.

A man speaks on the phone but he doesn’t realize that I am listening.

“Quando você vem?” He asks excited, before getting off the bus.

Outside, a blond lady with a dog awaits for him.

I wonder if being from Brazil makes us alike.

“Duvido,” I think, as I realize I am talking to myself in

the middle of curious gazes.

What holds you together? Is it an idea, an ideology, or just plain being?

Poem published in The Casserole.