AM I NOT A CHRISTIAN?

Poetry

[ALL RIGHTS RESERVED]

BY RUI CARLOS DA CUNHA

When I feel no one cares, the world full of people too busy to notice

How some people struggle more than the rest, like fish wriggling, hooks in their mouths

Eventually, we're caught, tossed inside a bucket to be gutted later

No one seems to notice when one of us slides down out of sight, out of mind

I walk past the homeless without a dime to spare and offer them some cash

Foreigners are nothing to us Americans but threats to our egos

Even if I was born far away in Bombay, nobody notices

Even though they still ask, "Where do you come from, son?" Keeping me at arms length

Little can I do now but clean up after them, the drunk party-goers

Not that it's not my job, cleaning up their vomit, the privilege I must feel

Only I never learned my ancestors language, just English, French, Russian...

Oblige me my sorrow, I've been homeless and mad, lost down a spiral shaft

Never mind the stigma of becoming unwell, mentally unhealthy

Even though I did drugs to escape the madness of walking on eggshells

Call it what you so choose, accountability, consequences, sorrow

As soon as depression lifts, the emotions rush like a raging river

Rapids are a challenge to navigate alone. I've gotten used to it

Even if the beatings weren't as bad as others experience, trauma

Shakes my world, an earthquake is nothing to someone from California, no

To say that no one cares may sound harsh but really a bandage won't help much

How everyone suffers and yet cannot but kick when somebody goes down

Even boxing has rules, but outside the bright lights people have their own rules

When someone is broken, their pain cannot be fixed like a broken window

Ordinary people don't get involved, don't ask, only see the problem

Really, not the problem but the effects of things sliding out of control

Landscape architecture knows not to build a house on the edge of a cliff

Despite all the warnings, people do what they want, watching landslides occur

Foolish is the wise man, we, Homo sapiens, living just as we please

Ugly, dirty beggars mix with Hollywood stars on the set of Sunset

Liberty and justice for all, we made a pledge as children, citizens

Lift the veil of madness to find everyone sick from moment to moment

Only we persecute the homeless, the insane, and criminals alike

Foreigners get to clean up after everyone else, the party people

Perhaps I never find a career to fulfill my goals in this lifetime

Ever feel like a ball of crumpled white paper thrown in a waste basket

Ordinary people to a foreign-born child made me feel exotic

Perhaps as a stranger in a strange land, I felt sensitive to their words

Little kids cannot know everyone is broken and cause others distress

Even the most healthy may cause intentional harm with good intentions

Tranquil, I study life, I may just lose my cool and act an idiot

Of course, I am broken, a raging maniac suppressed by repression

Order over chaos, or we all become pawns of our own emotions

Bitter and beleaguered, I can get nothing done, nothing to pay the bills

Until I work full-time again, I can't retire or go on vacation

Slide down a spiral shaft, never again to see the light of day, the sun

Yelp like a dog for help after an accident, getting hit by a car

To say people care more for stray cats than people, am I not a Christian

Obliged to get along, I never learned how fun it could be to make waves

No one sees the problems, only the effects last for decades without end

Obtain the right vision, context and perspective, architecture unfolds

To imagine a world where nobody suffered distress from their actions

Is to point down the well, deep down the spiral shaft, a black hole of darkness

Create a better world, solve the problems before we notice the effects

Exactly when these words climb out of the dark well, I, too, will find success