come on, come on, all the things you can think of to say are worth hearing and i wait for the chance to listen to all the dying poets

sometimes i mourn all the dead poets

breathing stale air in wooden boxes six feet under
those who were never given a chance 
growing up with their fingernails scraping at what they could be 
potential washing down the porcelain sides of their sinks 
ink caught in the creases of their palms

dreams never fully realized

how many poets do you think we lose 
because to schools poetry is silly and old and not for millennials 
instead it is for old english textbooks of ruler-straight poets
who they cannot for the life of them find a way to connect to 

because they were born at the wrong time 
in the wrong body wrong place 
gunned down, drowned, struck by sickness

there are a million words trapped in the dead throats of dead poets

and who else gets lost in the fray 
alive but unnoticed 
thin trickling phrases trapped in the cracks in their mirrors
words drowned out by crowds and ignorance

who do we never get a chance to hear

there is beauty out there
because we are poets
and we are often beautiful because we can so starkly see the ugliness in the world

but there must be those out there 
driven into ruts of empty page upon empty page 
by 9-to-5 jobs at desks 
or caged in too-cold apartments
because they're too disabled to work but not disabled enough for welfare

often the people we most need to listen to 
are those hardest to hear

and i wonder what happens to those starved poets
voice stifled and ground out 
like a flame doused in water until it flickers into nothingness
return to the void 
and the darkness creeps close

how many of our kind 
have clutched desperately to their lifeline of letters
only to have their grip slip
and fall into nothingness 

the death sentence of silence 

and i want to hear them all

the ones who fizzle before they have the chance to become anything at all 
those whose poetry rattles inside their skull but never reaches their lips their fingertips
all of those whose heartbeat stills into absence because they cannot take it all
and the poets whose beauty never reaches willing ears

i want to hear them all 

and i want to tell them it was worth it all along
and that i miss every poet that doesn't make it 
lying awake at night staring at the ceiling suspended in a mass of static
the world will not wait for us
so i hope to god you can manage to run fast enough to catch up

because there is meaning if we can just manage to dig deep enough 

and we need everyone if we're going to make this world work
and we're going to need everyone if we're going to make this a better place. 

The End

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