No doubt if you met him you’d be impressed.
Clean-cut, well-groomed, immaculately dressed
—a little too dapper perhaps, just a pinch too much
starch in the collar—but all things considered
a handsome man, the sort of person you’d wish
to see yourself with or be like. And then
as soon as he opens his mouth to speak, you’d believe
here’s someone who knows a thing or two, who sees the world
clearly, whose thoughts hold together, marching
in the same direction to the one sure beat, the tick
and tock of a reasonable mind. There’d be passion, too,
in what he says, but nothing excessive. Just the good, honest
sense of a man who believes in things, who cares
about the world and how it is run. He’d ask you
about yourself, how your life moves,
what stirs your heart, what makes you mad.
He’d listen without interrupting, all the while
looking into your eyes, like someone without any fear
of confronting another’s burdens, another’s pain.
He’d nod, and soon you’d find yourself nodding, too,
and wiping a tear from your eye. He’d rest his hand
on your shoulder, and you’d feel a warmth spread out
through the whole of your body, making you feel
deeper somehow, more solid, more real.
Slowly, gently, little by little, he’d start to explain
the truth he’s discovered, about how the world is, not quite
as it should be or as it appears, and then he’d tell you
who is to blame. The picture he paints would be simple, compelling,
so obvious once you see it. Though troubling, too,
it would fit you so well that soon you would wear it
as your very own, as if it had sprouted and grown by itself
in your own head. When he asks you to do
some small thing for the cause, you will do it
gladly, certain of its rightness, his rightness,
the rightness of the vision you share, the hope
for a future free of the shackles that make us all slaves.
He will thank you, and your chest will swell
with pride, and you will be glad to be alive
in this time of bold deeds and great promise.
When at last he asks you to kill, your hands
will tremble, but not from fear. Joy will grip you
in its mighty arms, the joy of the dutiful, the faithful,
eager to come to grips at last with the enemy,
with the work that must be done, the future
that waits to be made. The highest point of your life
will rest at the end of that blade, the muzzle of that gun,
the spark that ignites the blast that will shatter
the whole corrupt world and all its unholy crimes.