I babied bombs into being; I rolled munition in my hands.
Not for me.  Not for my enemies.  But I was
the think tank and the supplier.

                         Nearly three decades ago, a friend of a friend
                         was asked to meet his gf in the park, the next day.
                         He knew she was breaking up.  He was inconsolable.
                         He was broken.  He needed a preemptive strike to not be
                         broken.  We meant well, as friends.  We were

We asked, “Well, what doesn’t she like?”  
He answered, “Um , she’s vegan?”

                         We drove to the grocery.  We bought eggs and hamburger meat–
                         the kind that lays in slabs, in styrofoam, a sheet of wax paper
                         for quicker release.

My friend and I sat in a dark car, our hands covered in sticky, visceral, gore,
fashioning substance from once-substance, purpose from variant purpose.
And when I drove us to her house, I was both instigator and getaway wheels.

                         With our whispered shouts urging him on, he rallied self-respect,
                         martialed manhood, gathered his misgivings and go-get-em,
                         and one by one the projectiles flew through the air, meaty-arcs
                         that stuck (holy hell, they stuck) like giant, bovine polka dots
                         across the front of her house.  And I gunned the engine, tires spinning
                         and leaving their mark behind us.

This is not bragging.  It is humorous, perhaps, on the surface.  Who “hamburgers”
a home.  I was the architect here.  It was my idea.  I did this and 25+ years later…
I was this.

                         I open (and then close) my social media today and I cringe.
                                 At the way we treat one another.  At the way so few seem to change.
                                 To see the need for change.  To be willing–to work–to change.

                         I open (and then close) the news sources and I cringe.
                                 At the countries (no, the initiatives of those guiding the countries)
                                 and their lack of change.  At their hatred and hate bombs.
                                 No change. 

                         I open (and then close) my hope for a relationship, again and again,
                                 and I cringe.  At expectations.  At the need for change.  At the lack
                                 of ability or recognition of need or the willingness to change.

I am committed to the attempt to change.  But three decades of failed relationships…
at what point do I recognize the one consistent and persistent element of similiarity

                                 was me.
                                 That was me.
                                 My hands, with good intentions, meting out hatred and retribution.
                                 I didn’t lob the missiles.  But I armed the assailant.  I gave him wheels.
                                 I kept the secret three quarters of my life.

And I’ve changed.
                                 But how many times, how many relationships, were shaped by
                                         my hands?
                                 How many servings of good intentions meted out one or another form
                                         of botulism?

How can I continue to write lyrical beauty
discussing physical beauty, imagining idealistic beauty,
without seeing the ugliness

of who I was–
who I may still be–

was with me

all along?