by Lindsey Walker
We didn’t wear olive and coffee-colored duds or red stars or black berets when the whole world burned, from Tripoli to London. We didn’t throw Molotovs in the sweat-soaked night. We didn’t dance to the chorus of breaking glass. We didn’t chant slogans, sing anthems in the throaty darkness.
We did eat corn chips and applaud the rebel forces from our couches between reruns of soda commercials. We remembered then that we were thirsty; we smacked our salty lips together.
Worm-mouths lisp into the ears of kings, but how long can we distract us? How long do our pleasure responses last, dopamine flooding synapses every time we chew peanut-butter cups?
I’m not saying now that we need to set fires, but if we must let’s try not to get caught. Remember they can pull your prints from the insides of latex gloves. Remember that a naturally-occurring fire has a single point of origin. Near an electrical box is good; we could probably get away with it.
I’m not saying we have to set a fire, but we’re going to need something to warm our hands. We’ll need something people could follow through the night, a sailor’s polestar, celestial navigation. We don’t have to start a fire, but what else would we use to burn this whole place down?
Lindsey Walker is the current managing editor of Licton Springs Review and a student of creative writing. She has won the Loft Poetry Contest, the national League for Innovation Award for best essay, and the Whidbey Writers Workshop Students’ Choice Award for fiction. Her work has been published a little in print and a lot online, most recently by the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts and P.Q.Leer and will be featured in upcoming editions of Third Wednesday and Eunoia Review. She lives in Seattle with a boy and a dog. Visit her at lindseywalker.wordpress.com.