If You Want to Save the World, Get Over Yourself

(For Ellyzabeth Adler)

by Matthew McDermott

White, black, red, yellow, man, woman, varied indications of sex, ethnicity, and religion,

you don’t have to explain these words to me each time we meet. I can remember them.

Little Red Riding Hood can be the bedtime story I love without further explanation.

I don’t need to check off boxes to commune with your soul or ask you to leave things behind.

We can leave each other complete.


Time was our grandparents couldn’t come into this building, but for different reasons.

We only need one reason to enter today. So let’s build a broad building with wide shoulders

and call it only a place to gather, at a certain place and time. We could meditate there

on He who called us to open our arms wide: not because we want to, not for convenience,

because each day, even on the way to work,

we can save the world.

Matthew A. McDermott is a poet and novelist based in Chicago.


April 2018

© 2020 by The Esthetic Apostle