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Bonnibel Hemings, 2016

Perhaps we ought to be regal:
Princesses trapped in a crumbling tower,
a flutter of peacock butterflies,
a flowery teapot dripping with chamomile.

Perhaps we ought to be wild:
Rolling down a grassy hill in fancy dresses,
the wind that blows newspapers away,
setting fire to a blue kite, and letting it go.

Perhaps we ought to be famous:
Warriors marching to the city,
writers with ink stained lips,
the star at the tip of the archer’s arrow.

Perhaps we ought to be invisible:
A secret that will never be shared,
fireflies without their lanterns,
the dreams that disappear in the morning.

Perhaps we ought to be new:
Clumsy hatchlings toppling from tree branches,
the color of a freshly uncapped highlighter,
the first sparkler on the 4th of July.

Perhaps we ought to be old:
Vines creeping up the side of a wall,
a graveyard full of wilted flowers,
the dustiest book on a broken shelf.

Perhaps we ought to be innocent:
Tiny glass bottles of dandelions,
tops spinning on the chalky sidewalk,
sitting on the edge of a dock with pointed toes.

Perhaps we ought to be hardened:
Sequoia trees frosted in snow,
hornets rising from a shattered nest,
sharp rocks poking out from the ocean fog.

Perhaps we ought to be beloved;
Snow flurries at winter’s open,
a red balloon in a child's eye
the brightest bonfire on Walpurgis Night.

Perhaps we ought to be lonely:
Tears that harden in the cold,
a single rose amongst wreckage,
wandering shadows with long forgotten owners.

Perhaps we ought to be
like the feeling of plunging into cold water
with all of your clothes on,
like the fever that never really disappears,
like holding the hand of the person you love,
lying on top of a truck in the rain,
and looking up at the endless stars.
Perhaps we ought to be immortal.