November 21, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Mahkeo photo



Selden Cummings




The Future



I would count the folds of iron in your brain,

And compare them to the asphaltic cracks

Now brimful of countless memories

On a Sunday evening.


I would trade the casings in the carpet

For flowers in a fountain.  Purple on

White concrete.  Black veins spread though

Marble, all orange in the sun.


In your life, you will see approximately

83 full moons before your sun sets.

So make it well, so know the depth of the tragedy

Which cuts the moons short.


I would smile every hour of every day

For the rest of my undeserved life

If I could make up for the impossible hell-pain

Of their sheer bad luck.


I want you to know that words and

Politics and social media masturbation,

Vigils and talking heads their fake tears,

Nortriptyline and panic attacks,


I want you to know that these things

Are not important I want you to feel the weight

Of what you cannot touch,

In the hearts of mothers everywhere,


And the sisters and sons and daughters,

Brothers, fathers, friends.

I want you to see the truth in what’s invisible,

And listen:


The downy featherbed joy-comfort

Of a weekend, of a picnic or a concert,

A cold beer, a warm sandwich and the

Laughter of young minds,


Has been filtered through the mesh of fear.

And the great purple sky retracts in

Grief, upon the epiphany

Of the future that you stole.






Selden Cummings

Selden Cummings is a writer and musician currently studying English at UC Berkeley. His essay writing has earned him two first place awards (Buy or Join 2014, Dylan Willson 2016), and publication in Santa Barbara City College’s Student Voices journal in 2016. He is also a musician who performs under the alias “Tommy Luck.” He loves to surf and write poetry. 

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