I WISH YOU WERE YOU
when the whispers swirled about you and you could not have cared any less
than if they were raindrops disappearing down the gutters of our local mall
I wish bad men’s monuments comprised of equal parts tin and the Peter Principle
could be melted down into whistles, Slinkies, and medals for the least harm done.
I wish your words were View-Master reels— multidimensional, stereoscopic,
compassionate as virtuous reality would allow, and all titled Welcome.
I wish TikTok was nitrate film and would vanish like flash paper before the eyes
of anyone who used them to watch cyberbullies lip-synch a Kid Rock Republirant.
I wish we were us again instead of our shadows. I wish you were the weather
and here. I wish I was abundance. I wish our whispers swirled over these sheets.
Gary Thomas grew up on a peach farm outside Empire, California. Prior to retirement, he taught eighth grade language arts for thirty-one years and junior college English for seven, sharing and discussing at least one poem every day with his students. He has presented poetry workshops for statewide organizations, festivals, and conferences. He has had poems published in In the Grove, Time of Singing, and The Comstock Review, among others, and in the anthology More Than Soil, More Than Sky: The Modesto Poets. He is currently vice president of the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center. All the Connecting Lights, published by Finishing Line Press, will be released in August 2022.