Renee Pollock

The Collective/the Collect

and because hidden messages are not all they seem to be;
that eyelash dip, this honeycombed smile, that other melting silence,
all collide in ruminations after dark, in heavily-curtained living rooms 
beside the East River.

and because you hide your nescience so well we mistake you for one of us,
but misogyny always reveals itself in the company of women,
and you are disgorged from our gathering, like yesterday's trash
into the dump on the outskirts of the city;

we have enough hatred from without, thank you very much;
this inner circle is frayed by both your coming and your leaving.

a safe place to watch for, 
and it is home to these few that gather here,
dark-eyed revolutionaries, libertarians who love to argue with socialists,
ex-marxist rebels and tried and true down-home ladies, with cookies and coffee and good
wine always in tow;
we capitalize on our freedom.

no, you do not go to protect our freedom;
freedom flows from within, not without; freedom was never granted to us; we took it
and it bloomed all rosy and dappled in our springtime hearts;
we sit and stand and pace 
to spread this news; freedom is mine.

and because Montauk is cold this time of year, 
and because Georgina went back to her old ways and disappeared into the great forest
that is Throggs Neck,
and because we hung maybe too tightly together, and those good times had to perish at
some point,
we disperse about the city, weathering our own personal storms,
forever with one ear to the ground and one eye back, 
listening for the smoky, color-stained, book-worn, pugnacious-sweet,
ruined-long-gone nights of that year,
listening, feeling for the warmth and crackle of those fires again at our backs.

—Renee Pollock

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