A Child of the Millennium
By Charles Fishman

He’s five months old now—a little short
on experience—but if he could speak,
Jake would sit with the Dalai Lama on a red
and golden throne and hold forth on happiness
and compassion on freeing the mind from vengeance
and regret and living in exile from the sacred home:
he’s seen the end of days . . . and the beginning.

He doesn’t know about race or gender
or that we are murdering the planet that the earth
is smoldering with underground fires and with the bone-
fires of hatred He doesn’t know about ethnicity
or religion and will not take with him into the new century
memories of calcined corpses or an interior landscape
peopled with napalmed children.

What Jake is best at has nothing to do with genocide
or the acid tides of history He travels in realms
where tenderness is a face that brushes his face
He feels the strength of those around him and their love
and time ticks at his wrist like the gentlest rain His eyes
are the most translucent lakes, his smiles tiny suns
that shine a clear light on the living.

Charles Fishman is a winner from KotaPress Anthology Contest Vol 1, Issue 2, which is to be released in May 2001. He will be reading here in Seattle at the KotaPress Release Party on Friday, May 4th at 7pm and also at Elliott Bay 2pm Saturday, the 5th of May.


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