Call Kindness an Anti-currency

Call kindness sweat or carbon dioxide

expelled.  The essence of exchange

 

between organisms. A natural resource

that can’t be stockpiled or charged interest.

 

Call it a setting free, not a paying.

Call it rhythm. To flow rather than forge.

 

A word unsaid. An action delayed.

Call it renewable. Accepting it is anti-sin

 

for it is a current called to work its work

through and through—and through you.

 

And as all things held too long become weight,

kindness won’t require your hands

 

or handsomeness or donations.

It requires no self-deprecation

 

or peacekeepers armed to the teeth

atop green tanks. It is the tree left uncut.

 

The cell not yet turned against the body.

The opposite of the not quite white flag

 

you wave anxiously from your perch

in the first world. Why not become

 

conduit or watershed?  You too

are soft-wired synapse of sky.

 

Your life is the mouth of a river

that provides and doesn’t stop moving

 

for commandments or constitutions

or jihadists or lawmen. It is prayer

 

beneath the rubble.

The ounce of mercy.

 

***

Amanda Fuller is a native San Diegan who has circumnavigated the earth via ship.  She is a poet, translator, founding editor of Locked Horn Press, and currently teaches at San Diego State University. Her work has been published or is forthcoming with Poetry International, Serving House Journal, 5 Quarterly, Lunch Ticket, Cactus Heart, San Diego Poetry Annual, BlazeVOX, Fugue and elsewhere.

 

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