Behind a Half Closed Door

By Khadija Shariffe

behind a half closed door, you said
mad money coming your way, leg shaking
to the sound of loose change, thus jingle jangle in the pockets of the upper crust,
price-tagging trees for billionaires on the up and up;

as a lone tree cuts the sky into red ribbons,
am i bleeding?

now the air is dead around me,
and debt is the sound of the telephone rung
by nobody and nothing electric soldiers
running the highway to nowhere
batteries charged by fear chasing us all round the world
into the same dead end

and i know you know,
moby dick was the whale
not the ship, and ahab in all of us,
eaters of the living, we chew off our own legs
and call it fair,
drones to masters of money
hidden in hedges so fine,
they seem almost alive
but only in the dark

but the rhino is not his horn, and this ebb
and flow of life-as-stock, exposes only us to it,
leaves in the shape of animals-no-longer are just leaves
and this debt cannot be paid by pocket change
and paper confetti from the no-longer-forest,
plantation as people marched to the sound of their own suicide
like matchsticks men, ready to be lit aflame
in this tinderbox we call society
fucking itself

this unequal exchange
keeps coming round in a game we are destined
to lose, even you,
eventually

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