Control Respect

When you showed your father
You could hold that snake
Without flinching.

When you heard them coming
Wrapping your finger around
The plastic trigger.

When you first glossed over.
Feeling the truth in blood
Learning to hold the leash.
The thrill of releasing the lie
About meat and making things happen.

Curled into a ball, in your bed
Anticipating unknowable lightening strikes,
Listening for the RAP TAP TAP of rain drops
The thunder shook your walls
Like the sides of a roller coaster.

That day in summer camp.
The tools and the protocol
The wood in your hand
The passing of the torch.

It’s not about control.
It’s about respect.
Respecting the fear
The sacrifice and distant thunder,
The child
And childhood that ended.

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Coercive Diplomacy

The leash follows your explorations
I keep my thumb on the button
I’ll bag your shit
For my neighbors

You feel free and safe

We limp along
Two bullets at the bar
Patriots under duress
Hollywood guilt
Outside the body

Boys find their purpose
Playing guns like guitars
Piece of wood
A Samari sword

At what age can I start judging?
To save a life
How big do I have to be?
How important
To me

The earth of my skin

Has been through so much
Frozen and thawed frozen and thawed
I am starting to nap
The next ice storm sends my body into hibernation
The birds need so much
They eat fast
Leave their broken shells beneath the feeder
So much time looking for the ones that dropped
Winter has no time to mourn
No time to consider gender or spirit
There is one sun for every winter

Fire men

Excuse me, sir?
You left something
Right there on the bench
Next to me.

Marks on the launch pad.
How many suffer
For a flower to grow?

“We burn them to ashes
And then we burn the ashes.”

We learn so much from fire.
Everything burns the same
Beautiful and bright.
Everyone in the room knows
When it’s on.

A million tiny tongues
All going at once.
Do they taste anything?

“If I could lick my own balls
I might never date again.”

Fire changes things
With one quick click flicker
Forever.

The gaze of a father
Turns the skin to Silly Puddy.
We forge weapons
During commercials
Hack away
At the hanging bags of Jello.

The fire is in us.
We feel entitled to write books
To burn.