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.
and again the test comes back negative for waterborne parasites
for gonorrhea of the throat and of elsewhere for white blood cells in the stool
this isn’t always true sometimes it’s a phone call from your lover
sometimes it’s your computer blinking on with news of what’s wrong
with your body this time
simple really how he says the name of a disease
and suddenly you’re on your back staring out the window onto a highway
suddenly a woman enters the room to wrap a black cuff around your arm
and squeeze until you’re no longer sick
to slip a device under your tongue check in your sweat’s accompanied
by the heat it demanded
and aren’t we all of elsewhere sometimes the nowhere places you make yourself
inside the hallowed chambers of the hospital and inside the man’s unsure voice
when he calls and is too scared to name the precise strain of letters
you might share now what parasite might feed on the topsoil of your groin
what laugh track what tabernacle unlatched to let all that god in
what bacteria spreading its legs in your throat as you speak
when the illness is terminal you drink an eighth of paint thinner
while all the color drains from your face
all those little rocks in your gut turned to buses all those buses full of strange men
each one degree apart all going somewhere and gone now
funny how a word can do that garage the body
what if instead he’d simply called to say epithalamium or new car or sorry