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In the heart of every facemask-fighting, outraged


Lives the glowing golden ache

For Freedom.

In each indignant outburst is

a hurt child

Seeking a voice

In the way they always have:


I know this child because I carry one too,

Unsure of where to fit

In this,

A breaking, broken world.

It’s the gnawing refusal of the heart

To be voiceless

And silenced against the anonymous maelstrom



All of us wounded children,

We know the many hands that covered

Our innocent mouths:

A million rules of how to be,

A thousand rejections

A hundred unmet needs

Ten beautiful unrealized dreams

And finally, one single tragically mistaken belief:

“I’m on my own here.”

When this system does its work

And eventually pulls its many-tenticled arms from our throats,

When public education and public ridicule

Have completed their grinding circuit,

And spit us into the “real” world,

With nothing but a lonely rationality

And an industrial vocation

Inside a caged mind

Gazing upon a dying object of a dead world,

Our last gasping hope for redemption

Of course,

Is to fight for the capitalist scraps

Of false autonomy.

Caught in an endless project leading to


(And this is if we make it)

We mistake comfort for beauty

And distraction for connection

And endless work for morality.

At the top, the rules shouldn’t apply.

(That’s why we give everything to get there)

And if we don’t make it,

If our lives ring the hollow note

Of false goods

And meaningless jobs

And smell of cheap plastic and pesticides

Our last hope for finding the Freedom we knew long ago,

Resides in the most basic distinctions.

As options for escape from

the hell maze of progress


Like the fake money on the screens that eat the earth,

You’re damn right a facemask matters.

So as we desperately cling to the hidden forces

keeping us more silent than silence itself

suffocating us from the inside out,

covering our mouths one more time

becomes the final insult

To the trudging half-noticed history

Of a life we never lived.

So we patriots exist for Freedom, Inc.

Freedom Inc, the last stand for Me,

The solitary fighter in an unfriendly world.

Freedom Inc: My constitutional right to

be left alone in my brokenness

at last.

Freedom Inc, to choose between all the terrible choices

I’d never freely choose,

And select the most effective anesthetics

To help me forget.

Freedom Inc, finally, to hate all the others

Who care in the ways

I was never cared for.

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