for Andrea Vargas
The risk is moral death each time we act,
And every act is whittled by the blade
Of history, pared down to brutal fact,
The fact: we only want what we degrade.
No beauty in the glass makes our loss good,
No hero in the wings can take the stage,
The clash of blood at war with its own blood
Intoxicates us with colossal rage.
A cold beer and the young moon’s tender horns
Are shining on the table where we spar
Like women gladiators, bred and born
To wear our father’s breastplates, greaves and
There’s something not quite right here. We can’t
Like some girls, who’d say, “Hell, the bastards
broke our hearts.”
We are a different kind of tough; we hawk
Our epic violence in bleak bars, in bed, in art.
© 1992 Suzanne J. Doyle. Used by