By Gary Corseri

'Puedo escribir versos mas tristes esta noche.'—Neruda
(Tonight I can write sadder verses.)

Because the moon has disappeared… from grief.
Because the children weep for their parents.
Because memories are whitewashed… and stolen.
Because words have lost their meaning.

Because I have lived through this before.
Because, I assure you, this does not end well.
Neither Nature nor Nurture can save us.
Because we have murdered Nature.

Because we are peasants in a land of thieves.
Because we are beyond consolation.
Because beauty is sold into whoredom.
Because the coin of the realm is a slug.

Because we pray, but have forgotten how.
Because we 'find, ' but dare no longer seek.
Because we enslave—others and ourselves.
Bowing to fools, we shackle the wise.

The Children of Light flutter…and depart,
Leaving their questions in the quivering air:
'Why bring us into this pinwheel of sorrow?
Wasn't it better not to be born? '

Bio: Gary Corseri has published novels and poetry collections; his dramas have been produced on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere, and he has performed his poems at the Carter Presidential Center. He has taught in US prisons and public schools, and at US and Japanese universities, and has worked as an editor in the US and Japan. His work has appeared at The New York Times, The Village Voice and hundreds of periodicals and websites worldwide.

by Gary Corseri

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