If hope was a color
it would be brown
like the corrugated billboards
that occupy Zuccotti Park

if hope had an odor
it would smell like peppers
saturating the midnight air

if hope had a taste
it would taste like the milk
running from my eyes
and down my cheeks

if hope made a noise
we would hear bongos beating
behind the wail of the elderly
and the screams of the suppressed
that lay beaten in the street

if hope was a feeling
it would be the tightening
of plastic cable ties
around innocent wrists
and blows from batons
that rain down
upon the rib cages
of professors and students
who won’t bite their tongues
any longer

if hope had a heart
it would be enclosed
in the chest cavity
of an eagle soaring
above the smoke filled streets
lined with debt and unemployment

-Jake St. John 11/18/11

Jake St. John writes out of New London, CT, where he also coordinates poetry readings in and around the New England area. He is the co-editor of Flying Fish and the editor of Elephant.

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