The Wall I Didn’t Want To Build


The wall I didn’t want to build
is rising between us anyway
brick by brick by brick

I didn’t realize until recently that
I don’t need to intend you harm
to do you harm

As soon as i learned how i started making the mortar
the bricks have always been here

The skin of my face has become so dry
that tears are absorbed before they can fall
like rain falling on a field that hasn’t had it in years
like the sweat that comes from honest labor
like building this wall
brick by brick by brick

I had hoped to see your face again
to hear your laugh
to smell your perfume
but I won’t be able to do those things
when I finish building this wall
this necessary wall
this wall without window or door
this wall that will stand as high as I can reach
until time or an earthquake tumbles it down
brick by brick by brick


Published by mikepowernyc

Named one of New York's Best Emerging Poets 2019, my poetry chapbook The New Normal was published by Analog Submission Press. My novel The Zoo was published by Cacoethes Publishing House. Other poems and short stories have appeared in various publications, including Subterranean Blue Poetry, The Journal of Microfiction, and Sick Lit Magazine. Other works include a staged reading of my play Digging Up John Barrymore, performed by Dreamcatcher Entertainment, and five albums of original music recorded with my band Late Model Humans.

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