I sit in its seat.
The brown weaves crackle below me.
The process begins, and this cold concrete doesn’t offer me advice,
like it should.
At least there are no more flies
biting, like they were around the trailer,
nagging my ankles and forearms with questions.
I now bite myself with questions
young and old,
to see if dead men do bleed after all.
How can there be reconciliation without metamorphoses?
How can there be a ‘we’ again without transfiguration?
And not the superficial kind, with how-are-you’s and what’s-new’s.
The last ten years of those have been boring,
showing that they never knew how to care
beyond patriotic duties and civil niceties.
I would have preferred anything really attentive instead.
I still would.
But I avoid much of it now.
The broad, sweeping excuses,
the punts away from guilt and pity
There’s no interest in exploring or learning.
There’s no questioning.
It doesn't even matter if the grass is greener on their side.
All that matters is that there is true grass on their side.
Yet I still see weeds.
I also see unnecessary hours of mowing and money on fuel pissed away.
They’re all experts before the conversation begins, too.
They only unveil one goal, even if other offers lie beneath.
Blame the student and give him a bright red dunce cap as a gift.
They think they know because they presuppose
and can read minds.
They keep their distance, too.
He’s heterodox—barely Christian;
and barely is a kind description.
Let’s presume he’s really evil or foolish or both.
Some sugar coat morsels with justification and predestination
as though those mysteries encompass and satisfy life’s queries.
Others just pounce with feelings and peacemealing.
Others with just law.
They don’t read between the lines, beyond shakespearean wherefores.
They prooftext tropes and demolish idols.
Context matters little in their apologetical schemes.
When a boiling point is reached, they ask vagaries.
’What’s your problem?', as though there’s a missing key
withheld from them with childish cruelty.
To even share a problem is to implicate one’s self as the problem,
unless they share the problem.
And to claim to have no key is to deceive.
A brief list might suffice, though.
Will they even allow one to be offered?
Then more blame will return to the sender.
Did you vow to love through sickness and health?
I can hear their squeals now—She did it first!
In what ways do you think you failed us?
I hear ignorance and deflection masquerading as principled profundity.
Now is not the time to spring this on us, as though we keep a record of such things.
So then, forget about the years when we were too young to understand.
Do you remember any ways you failed us as adults?
The sound now becomes difficult to interpret.
It’s either a rhythmic chirping or blame shifting
like none of that matters. But it’s a sound nonetheless
—the sound of having moved on.
Yes, some mistakes were made. Some.
Let’s not talk about those now.
None were serious enough to warrant disdain now.
Let’s all acknowledge it superficially and shout that from mountaintops
so we can all move on and not relive the past.
More than ten years have passed predictably,
and I still I don’t like or want that.
And I don’t want their grandchildren to endure that either.
I could have that with anyone.
I could even find parts at Walmart to fix it.
What we need is more valuable and difficult to mine.
Remarkably, I have found a path toward it now.
I drove around its buildings and sidewalks.
I parked on its roads and played across its playground.
I walked its yellow brick road.
I visited the apartment it lived in.
I dined with its shepherd.
I visited its library and perused the books it borrowed.
I sat in the seat it died in and noticed the trees it sang about.
I noticed the light it saw shining down from the one who reigns above.
But they won’t talk with me about any of that.
It remains dead to them while remaining very alive to me.
They imagine this new love erupting in order to hurt them.
Yet the truth is actually much more helpful.
It offers me vulnerability and honesty
—a life worth learning and exploring
What they offer is utterly replaceable.