a simile is more honest than a metaphor thank you no questions at this time

Koshu Kunii/Unsplash

i have an (actually) autistic relationship to metaphor which is to say
i have trouble with the slippages involved in saying two things
are the same when clearly they’re not, and you might ask (i
wouldn’t, but you might) what kind of poetry can do without
metaphor, can resist saying a rent strike is a rising tide or
a riot is a harvest moon, is this not an impoverishment etc
is this not a falling away from the heights language wants to be
pushed to (but if it needs to be pushed...if it doesn’t move there
on its own...), to which i’d offer humility (there are things
i just can’t personally do), along with maybe a quiet recuperation, like:
suffering isn’t bravery those two things are different let someone
say it. to absorb an injustice because you need to to survive’s
not courage don’t let them say that. a habit isn’t a need
unless it is. a friend isn’t a comrade unless they are.
a comrade isn’t salvation but enough of them struggling
together may be. this scream is a song. no it isn’t. it is.

 

This poem was the runner-up in the poetry category of our tenth annual Writing in the Margins contest, judged by Sonnet L'Abbé. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG) for this year’s contest.

A writer in Toronto, Daniel Sarah Karasik (they/them) organizes with Artists For Climate & Migrant Justice and Indigenous Sovereignty, among other groups.