What Happens When

July 8, 2008
By Brittany Warren, Royalston, MA

What happens when…
Frustration sticks greedy fingers into your mouth;
And rips your teeth right out?

When you are tired of doing what is right for the world;
And the guilt scrapes along your gum line so raw and unprotected?

When love turns to hate;
Water turns to poison;
And you choke on your own tongue?

When you lose your house;
Your money;
Your freedom;
All to support an addiction;
And cavities rot away your mouth’s nerve endings?

When violence robs innocent lives;
To try and make a point that one beast is stronger than the other;
And bacteria override your breath just to take it away?

What happens when…
We don’t think before we speak;
Fight before our chances are bleak;
And sores take their places, buried in our lips?

Disheartening the answer may be;
When we discover that the world’s mouth becomes unattractive and toothless;
And blood runs its course down the world’s chin;
So warm and infectious…how do we fix this?

A temptation sets in;
To comfort the world;
A temptation to massage its tense shoulders;
To warm its cold bones.

An urge to caress its problem-drenched lips binds us;
In a never-ending struggle to save its Addicted Alcoholics, Drug Lords and Sex Deviants.

What’s wrong with the world and its kiss so cold and indirect?
Or its skin, so cancerous and leathery from the sun’s harsh touch;
There is so much wrong when we know that no lotion can save us.

What happens when arthritis-stricken hands can’t join together to pick up the pieces;
And battered, blackened, abused eyes fail to see the light slowly fading?

We’re all due to plunge…deep;
So deep, that we no longer have time to hold our breath.

With the world so bruised and broken;
It can’t speak out;
Causing it to drown in a puddle of words;
Vomited violently with a mixture of garbage.

This garbage is pollution, infection of the soul;
Broken honesty and false hope.

It is every rape, arrest and failed drug test;
It is every danger we have faced Magnified to a new level of horrendous.

This world has become slightly more askew;
And hauntingly more dangerous.
Left gripping tightly the last shadow of understanding I wonder...
What will happen once we fix this?

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