Defense Mechanism


Defense Mechanism

Tick tick

Tick tick

Don’t you tell me “punishment” doesn’t feel like pain!

The whole illusory punch to the stomach disappears in the moment you feel the cold, walking from your car, and the ice crystals inside it;

Remind me why you want to take that away?

This is what I don’t understand, Mr. Blank Face:

You tell me that if I don’t defend it, it will remain decent

“Objective” is a good thing

Right up until it destroys your soul.

The artists rave about “power” and “control”

The engineers rant about anything apart from straight lines and solid construction

The poets mish-mash their feelings into even their tea;

And yet:

Only the crazies care to shut up.

It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t angry right now,

But thing is,

My anger will go away.

So much anger will stay broken and breathing, pressed into pages and soggy novels and brittle endings and forgotten graces,

And although terrible beauty is just as real as beautiful terrible,

They sure do like one another’s company.

Tell you what, friend:

We will speak less of it,

We will speak less of the distinctions that aren’t distinct,

And the knowing that isn’t known,

And the parallels that are mishy mashy nonsense and stereotypes,

And then, once all of it is over,

We can both call each other whatever we want.

Can we please delay the judging one another’s destinies shtick for like, another 30 years?

I’m sure by then we’ll have so much more to choose to be bitter about.


We could just let one another have our quirks,

We can share them over coffee,

I won’t mash mine into my tea, but then again, that’s your call;

And if yours are extra sweet, maybe they’ll function a little like honeycomb.

I will as I need to,

And I will nod to you on the subway, once I live in a place with subways, if I live in a place with subways,

And we’ll all get along because we won’t bomb each other.

For the love of God, can’t we just get along? I’m not making that thought frilly, for fricks sake!

How many more failures do we each need to accumulate before we grow enough good sense to acknowledge how thoroughly we botch each others’ limits? I fail continuously. But I’m not alone.

Hey, here’s a thought: We could throw more barbeques. Maybe will enough food and civil company we can re-civilize one another.

Do we really believe that this is the purpose that we were born for? Could it still less to think about it if we actually started now, and bothered in the first place?

Dear God, I’m tired! WHY are we still fighting? Angry voices in each hall way you could imagine;

And for what?

The snow fell last night,

There was a Portuguese boy in my class today that had yet to see it,

By the sweet and salty grace of God,

That should be enough.


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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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