Truth burns in the afternoon campfire, each flame bearing a realization, fed oxygen, given passion of belief. Tho each moves– climbing the wood’s jagged Zen mountains, changing shape, truths– themselves, changing, as relinquishing, each passing hope to the next, until all are extinguished as the fuel is spent, reduced to coals and blowing ash. I watch as glowing-ember worlds come and go, hissing in smoky protest as deceased, lost to the conflagration’s ire.
I’d be an Anarchist, If I believed we wouldn’t become once again the savages we were born.
I’d be Socialist, if I believed there were fairness in governance, if I believed that rulers didn’t hunger to rule us.
I’d be a Nationalist, if I believed the blood-won barb-wired lines in the sand didn’t mark kingdoms, ownership of resources, and of the citizenry.
I’d be a Christian, or a Muslim. I’d adopt a religion, if I thought that each, beneath the headdresses worn by its ruling core, didn’t love war– more than it loved compassion.
I’d be a Capitalist, if only I believed that financial success didn’t come at someone’s expense.
And I’d be a martyr, if I thought it would save him from all this.
The boy returns from his adventures on his bicycle, and I tell him it’s time for us to go.
“You’ll never catch me, Coppers!” he shouts, turning around in a skidding spout of dust and gravel, a brazen escape– as he disappears into a playful horizon.
I let him ride a bit longer, freedom billowing in his open-button shirt.
“Yes, I hope they never do catch you, son.” I whisper, pushing the coals back together, birthing a new flame.