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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 17 page 21

verse

I Could

by Thomas Piekarski

I could blame the whole thing on Gaudi, getting caught
with no umbrella in a rainstorm on the Mediterranean
at Barcelona harbor. I could lie to myself and deny any
involvement. I could cry out for my dead daddy to help,
but that’s not apt to gain traction. I could rob a train.
I could pledge myself to a crowd of cowards, or
like mobster Meyer Lansky play both poles against the middle.
I could drain every drop of potable water way out West
with the snap of my finger. I could be what you want to
rehearse me to be for your touring circus act. I could make
a pact with whatever Walt I wish. I could probe
your organs with lightning bolts showered down
from interminable bowers. I could crowd your space,
spice up the skies with fluorescence of fresh eglantine.
I could dissipate hatred by mating it with more hatred.
I could praise Joan of Arc as heroine and saint despite
the spurious edicts of a vile church. I could make man
my principal metaphor, or toss him into the filthy trough
for pigs to feast on. I could submit to binding arbitration
but it would only last one lifetime. I could sign my name
on your dotted line in invisible ink. I could incite rumors
that would provoke scandal beyond anyone’s imagination.
I could cheer when the opposing team scores a touchdown.
I could create mayhem without meaning to by involving
you in one unprofitable deal after another. I could delete
the national debt by impounding all the plutocrats’ stashes.
I could found new worlds beyond what the telescopes would tell.
I could view the great river as flowing though it stagnates.
I could pay an inordinate amount for an insurance policy
that would do only you any good. I could track down my
ancestors with the radar gun I recently excavated. I could
become a serviceable citizen within certain zones, but not
others. I could bleed gobs of flaming lava in the night if
the if was factored out. I could invoke my right
to silence under a presumptively acceptable code of ethics.
I could thrive bearing no weapons nor a leg to stand on.
I could hear the faintest jingle and taste delicious treats,
loaded for bear, hunting in a pair of Paul Bunyan’s big boots.
I could stun the Queen Bee until she shuns her eternity.