Poetry: Otherness by Shirley Jones-Luke

 after Alex Dimitrov

We’re on the moon. Years ago, I knew I couldn’t
save anyone. Despite that news, I made sure that
I tried to save anyone thereafter. But it’s easier to say
it than to do it. The moon doesn’t love you. Without
anyone else, I am just a room devoid of life. It is almost
impossible to exist without deception. Do you love me?

I must tell you that I’ve failed at loving you. You wanted a
deep, passionate love from me, but I could not give it. I know
that people need to be loved. But right now, I see only hate. I hear
only hate. I feel hate growing in my heart. My country is confusing me.

Our money is not infinite like the oceans. But even oceans lose their currents. Water runs dry.
Banks fail. Our money is better off under a mattress. Besides, we don’t sleep in the same bed
anyone. We haven’t in years. I don’t miss the warmth of your body. It went cold when my heart

We must refuse evil. We must not abandon our hearts. We must end the worst of life, the
debased, racists, religious terrorists and the elite. They exist because we allowed them to. They
exist without love. Their love is warped. But we aren’t pure either. There is still coal inside us

I wish this otherness would end. But there seems to be no ending. Our love struggles onward,
life support, breathing tube, ineffective medicines. Oceans are dying. The rich continue to get

richer. The poor labor with only love to sustain them. What will sustain us? Something beyond
this otherness.


BIO:  Shirley Jones-Luke is a poet and a writer from Boston, MA. Ms. Luke has an MFA from Emerson College. She was a 2016 Watering Hole Poetry Fellow. Her work was shortlisted in poetry by Adelaide Magazine.  Shirley’s poems have been published by Adelaide, BlazeVOX, Deluge, ENUF and Fire Poetry.

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