In Trust by Mara Lemanis

In Trust by Mara Lemanis



In Trust


I hold myself in trust

to a hundred thousand generations;

They laid a trust for me

to host a heavy load

of two-faced dispositions;

I feel their weight like scales

that balance yin-yang oppositions

of alternate goads and prompts

that close a circuit,

urge equilibrium;

or host a hydra head of killer nerves

that slash at binary pumps,

cut fear with lust

cut wrath with guilt

lay down a tangled nest

and look for markets

where profit margins

find high yields

when fear

drives hate

sidelining love,

strapping synapses to combat posts

to rout the opposition

and clinch an arsenal

in passion’s strong suit;


I’m held in trust

by a hundred thousand generations

that massed a legacy,

a coat of arms

from a code of genes

an unrelenting sequence

from darts of fear

to spears of hate


from the armored hearts

of men like Temujin

down to the sapless valves

of men like Stalin

Marcos, Pinochet

and all their fallow hordes

followers whose goads and itches

glazed smooth as glass reflectors

to emulate their masters’ spears

and form a perfect union

with victorious wrath;


Trust craves an equilibrium

the red cells pumping with the white

taming sorrow, ripe desire,

shame, sudden joy

into a law of love;

all while the host thrives

on predation

vain with greed

to make a foil of love

to mask his hate

and slyly wait for sunny rays

to heat up

love-logged pawns

melt pockets of dissent

ignite the will

with counterfeit love calls

parboiling sunbeams into holocausts;


Millennia long we trusted our first loves

thralls to ardor

like beetles flying into forest fires

to breed beneath the burned-out bark;

we broke the parity

between our polar sparks

built muscles on our itchiest nerves

until they grew, hardened

mounted into missiles

aiming self-extinction.


We view them now with fearsome pride

as if they shield a synchrony

protecting peaceful passions

we grant to pets and children

who laugh in wonder at

the industry around them

or the quiet concert savored

when air currents

make branches thrum

rippling a sparrow’s ruff 

stirring the wind to sing

as a comrade smiles us into friendship.

We think this synchrony has smoothed our trust

while it has only

led us by the nose

to trust annihilation

as the preservative of love.


Mara Lemanis