Those Who Power On You

do not do them how they do you,
though they’ll attempt the imprint. 

trauma can seal the future
if presented as a given. 

if you cannot be a hammer, 
does that make you a nail?

if you become the hammer,
who do you strike down first? 

if the hammer 
only shows you its force, 
will you ever learn 
how to extract what’s false?

never let only being taught the stick 
prevent you from living the carrot. 

what kept you down
         only reflects 
         what those 
         who’ve held power 
         tell you is powerful. 

         how they prop up the obsolete
         as universal law, 

                                    when we’ve clearly 
                                    grown out of dial-up. 

but what happens 
when we freaky friday 
into roles we’ve only witnessed 
beneath the heel of? 

will we find darker people 
to justify pressing down 
to stay standing? 

will we erase what challenges 
our harmful? 

will we wreck lives for 
pittling nuisance? 

will we burn the evidence
to keep our elevation? 

will we ever grow out 
of the payback 
                    that plays out 
                    in positioning 
        to be progress? 

will we ever learn from those 
who have wiped out generations, 
        that their way is dinosaur
        before the meteor? 

will we choose something 
     putting another through 
                    what we paid 
                    too dearly for? 

as the dying animal 
clings to past power’s purpose,

may we finally learn from 
past pain 

        to see domination 
        as a thing of the past. 


From Well Played (Not a Cult, 2020) by Beau Sia. Copyright © 2020 by Beau Sia. Used with the permission of the publisher.