In the heart of every facemask-fighting, outraged
Lives the glowing golden ache
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
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
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
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.