No Animals or Insects Were Tortured or Killed in the Making of This Poem by Rich Ferguson

What I want: to crank creation’s contrast knob to fully illuminate what’s right about the world.
 
I wanna be Faith’s strung-out junkie. My dreaming veins singing a better tomorrow.
 
What I don’t want: to be dust, rust. Roadtripping with demons—Oblivion or bust.
 
Don’t wanna be that one bullet locked and loaded in the chamber of grief’s gun. Don’t wanna be your blood-lusting grave, your ghost-moan grave, your any kinda grave.
 
What I want: to spend time in your joy’s city. I’ll sweep the streets, round up criminals, direct traffic—anything and everything to keep your bliss vibrant and alive.
 
I wanna radioactivate, self-immolate. Burn away all poverty, fear and sickness to fuel the fire of our well-being.
 
Don’t wanna be an inert gas in the Idiotic Table of Elements. Wanna be a full-on kick in the balls to ignorance.
 
I never wanna torture or kill any animals or insects in the making of these words, these beliefs, no matter how low I may get between thought, between breath, between life and death.
 
But if anything must die, let it be the ego. Let it go.
 
What I want: for you to write on my flesh everything you see and hear when you sleep. I wanna believe the pen outlasts the blade. Freedom outlasts the chains.
 
I wanna shred your self-doubt, refold it into a confident origami.
 
Wanna see you go out into the night, take a deep breath. Sip in stars, planets, moonbeams. Let me visit the solar system in your head. Let me be asteroid, nebula. Let us become the Universe of We.
 
Don’t wanna be old news, worn-out shoes, poorly played blues. Don’t wanna be a perpetual cruiser up and down the Boulevard of Bad Vibes.
 
I wanna shake our collective birthright of shame, blame. Want the veins in my hands to be Sanskrit letters spelling out the words: “I will hold you up when you’re down.”
 
I wanna believe that had we lived in the Warsaw Ghetto we would’ve been survivors. We would’ve been books for all to read in the secret libraries.
 
I want our hearts and minds to unite and revolutionize. Never want racism’s fist to be supersized.
 
And finally, I want every sacred word in every language—dead and alive—to be your first and last name. So whenever I call out to you it feels like I am praying.

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