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December 8, 2016

Who are you?

I thought I knew.  I thought I knew you.

I thought I knew your heart like sunset

Always changing and full of new color, but still reliable at the end of each day reminding me that love always remains.

I thought I knew your soul like family.

Diverse and loving, opinionated and not without it’s share of awkward politeness in difficult times.

Some holidays we even skipped because it was just too much pain to deal with on a holiday.

But still, when tragedy struck, when hearts broke open and sadness spilled like the slow molasses of open, awful, anguish, your soul was like family.  Like home. Complete with a big hug from Momma to put you at ease and let you know that it would all be okay.

I thought I knew your hands like perfectly baked bread.

Thick and tender, just soft enough to peel apart

and nourish the tenderest tummy

Comfort the down trodden and lead them straight to your shores

Strong enough to hold the door,

Protect me from my hunger for love and closeness,

The hard crust keeping the wolves at bay

Keeping the faith that at the end of the day

Goodness would prevail

I thought I knew your smell like my hometown city streets

The store front bakeries

With the scent of warm donuts filling the street

The jiffy lube smell of tires and oil

The gyro shop and it’s cooked rack of lamb

The fall leaves crunching under feet.

The rain.

I thought I knew your story like my own

Your meager beginnings, your bad decisions,

Your good ones that showed such grit.

Such beauty

Such humanity

Your ever bold march toward evolution, your own

Toward kindness

Toward justice

Toward strength

Toward tolerance

Toward peace

Now, I wake up to find your heart is not red with the beating blood of life and love

It is actually more like rust pumping through your insides

Black flecks appear to be everywhere, poisoning what was once a healthy collection of organs


Your soul is suddenly turning inward and outward all at once.

And when it turns outward it’s moving toward the dark forces we all feel sometimes pulling at our insides.


Looking at the fear and believing it.

Looking at others and fearing them.

Looking at yourself and growing more arrogant by the minute.

You suddenly just love yourself so much that others look so small in comparison.

The dark finds us all sometimes.

But you?

You were always so BRIGHT!

You were always so much better than that!

You’re the devout Christian that turned Athiest?

You’re the gangster turned cop?

Cop turned gangster?

Your soul appears now so self serving.

So greedy.

So unaware of itself.

Then, there are your hands – there is blood under your finger nails

A trunk full of sadistic tools

I catch a glimpse

You slam the trunk

You tell me I’m imagining things

Those are for gardening

And that blood is just dirt

But, I know what I saw.

I know what I see.

That was the blood of your brother and those tools – I know what they are for.

It cannot be gaslighted away.

Even your scent has changed.

You are all diesel engine and sour kraut.

Manure and sour milk.

Your story too, I can see it now – and it breaks things inside of me that I didn’t know were there.

Your story has always been seen through the rose colored glasses of my love for you.

It’s always been more bad decisions and brutality with excuses than the beauty in my idealized image of you.

More selfish interest than truly concerned with doing the right thing.

It’s just that the politics of the time were good for both.

But still.

I believed.  Really believed you had gotten better.

You had changed.

I really believed it.

I changed with you.

We grew together.

Or so I thought.

The truth today is that I see you my Beloved America.

And I don’t know who the fuck you are.


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