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.