the time for nuance is over
i argue over breakfast
explaining how it’s oft used
to confuse dissent—knife
through my poached egg.
politicized work made all yolky,
easy to consume & forget.
i dab with the toasted bread
agitation & propaganda i rant
is the only just path for artists
gesturing with my utensils
heavenward. i’ve said a lot
of things which in retrospect
would’ve been better
had i kept my mouth shut.
i once said something to a friend
i won’t repeat here
& now she’s no longer my friend.
i'll never forget what her eyes did
as i finished speaking
stones in a bucket.
words have consequences
they’re both material & reveal
the spirit that speaks them.
what i meant over breakfast
is the time’s too urgent for work
that doesn’t have blood in it.
what i meant is insurgency
is our birthright, that nuance
comes from the french meaning
to shade—why another painting
of a lake when there’s so much
rage boiling outside the canvas?
what does it mean i don’t mean
what i say when i say it? i don’t know
what i mean. silence is golden
& gold’s the standard measurement
for capital. the golden rule is do
unto others as you would have them
do unto you. but what when they do
you ugly first as they always
seem to? i finish my coffee &
it’s political whether i want it
to be or not.
i never wanted to grow up to be anything horrible
as a man. my biggest fear was the hair they said
would snake from my chest, swamp trees
breathing as i ran. i prayed for a different kind
of puberty: skin transforming into floor boards
muscles into cobwebs, growing pains sounding
like an attic groaning under the weight of old
photo albums. as a kid i knew that there was
a car burning above water before this life, i woke
here to find fire scorched my hair clean off
until i shined like glass—my eyes, two acetylene
headlamps. in my family we have a story for this:
my brother holding me in his hairless arms. says
dad it will be a monster we should bury it.