by Joan Annsfire
Gathered at the threshold of the possible
we speak out, exchange ideas,
our call and response reverberates
with the acoustic harmony of resistance:
Whose streets? Our streets!
Whose city? Our city!
Assembled against despair,
we have arrived to collect
on a promise denied, a promise long overdue,
we have been waiting for this moment
since the floor began slipping
down and away beneath our feet
like the amusement park ride
that depends solely on centrifugal force
to keep bodies splayed up against the walls
until the motion stops.
Then, everyone slides down
into the slowing center,
some breaking the falls of others,
all without a foothold
descending into a closed circle,
marking the end
of a wild ride.
The carnage is real,
the inevitable consequence of undeclared war;
greed, dishonesty, speculation,
weapons of mass destruction:
a crisis, a travesty,
a legacy of lies.
A gaping black hole
breathes its dark whirling breath
inches from our eyelashes:
it is a maelstrom in waiting,
growing, expanding, disappearing
into a vortex of unlimited capacity
where all matter is consumed and transformed
into pure energy.
Inertia is no longer an option,
stasis has become impossible;
we are hurled by unstoppable trajectory
into a future young, inchoate,
Poised and ready,
we are standing on the event horizon,
the dawn of insight, a threshold
where imagination meets and merges
Once we were scattered like
stars across the night sky
now we become a beam of light
able to penetrate deep into dark places.
We link arms,
step beyond hesitation, united;
just one paycheck from the street
and one moment
Joan Annsfire is a poet, writer, longtime political activist and retired librarian. She lives in Berkeley California.
Her poetry has appeared: Online on the Counterpunch web site’s: ”Poet’s Basement”, in Lavender Review, The SoMa Literary Review, in print journals such as The Harrington Lesbian Literary Quarterly, Sinister Wisdom: (many issues), The 13th Moon, Bridges, The Evergreen Chronicles, and in anthologies such as: “The Other side of the Postcard” edited by devorah major, The “Queer Collection,” 2007, edited by Gregory Kompes, “The Cancer Poetry Project Anthology” edited by Karin Miller,“The Venomed Kiss,” edited by Anita M. Barnard and Michelle Rhea and “Milk and Honey,” edited by Julie Enszer.
Her memoir pieces and short stories have appeared in “Identity Envy,” edited by Jim Van Buskirk and Jim Tushinski, and online in www.readtheselips.com edited by Evecho and was one of the guest contributors to “A Simple Revolution” sponsored by Aunt Lute Books.