the chasm

 

anything
but your smile

anything
but how you refuse to give up
on a friend

anything
but the way you still make gumbo
like your grandmother
taught you
or
the fact that you
brew the best ipas in the universe

anything
but how you always glance back
once
before walking out the door

how you vote
what you worship
who you choose to bed
or
what color you were born into

this is all they'd have you see
as if
these define us
as if
we're definable at all

the playbook
is tattered and bloodstained and
even more ancient
than the players themselves
but
what are they to do
when information
flies faster than predator drones
when the life of
state lies
can be timed in keystrokes

they fall back
to the playbook
because to adapt is to evolve and
their strain lacks the
poetry

to the boot and baton and
to enforcers in the streets
they fall back

to the corporate whores
selling us our place and
to the corporate pushers
tasked with keeping us there
they fall back

they fall back
to the old
in desperation
in a hail mary of a shot
at keeping you and i from seeing
the truth

that it's they
not we
who fall back

they want fingers pointing
they want shoulders cold
they want eyes as distrusting as
cheating husbands
and
claims investigators

how you vote
what you worship
who you choose to bed
or
what color you were born into

this is all they'd have you see
because
these make possible
the chasm

anything
but your smile

anything
but your first heartache

anything
but how closely
the bullies and bloody noses of
your childhood
resemble those of mine

and his

and hers

anything
but bridges