later when this is all over

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I hope you will remember what I said.

Because later, when we are all over
you will re-read the things you never
read, because they were not the things
about you, or the things you thought
were about you and you will wonder
if they were, in fact, about you. Or if –
indeed – nothing was about you.

Later when it is all over
I hope you will remember what I said.

Because later, when we are all over,
you will read – perilous act it is – of me
and what the me of then-not-now is
doing and you’ll wonder who this you
is, this you that isn’t you any more, or
couldn’t be, because you’re not there
any more. Because this is now and
later is later and before was before.
And none of the yous are you. You
were never once the subject or the object.

Later when this is all over
I hope you will remember what I said.

Because later, when we are all over
you will read what came before
anyway, to torture yourself a little, and
worry that you weren’t that special
anyway. Because you will read later
and suspect a little that you aren’t.
Because you read this now and
worry that you won’t be.

Later when this is all over
I hope you will remember what I said.

That you did more than click your tongue
at the trifling of humanity
and, instead, revolted in the wild, unruly politic
of once listening to another
and remembering what they said.

Because, later, when we are all over, that will be the end of it.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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