Dear Lance

You came all this way
made it through every fire
unsinged, maybe singing.
The heat of capture, hot ships pitching,
whatever you used to be,
whoever you were
forget it all
you’re the thing* we need you to be
*slave animal beast con burden on society
let the new shame spread
riffing on an old flame

Only in slavery
are we leading innovators
ahead of a time
we are forever behind
if you have to be free
at least,
we can make sure you aren’t happy

I saw you sitting on the steps today. Huddled in rags in this 26 degree F like a teen tourist at Times Square who just wants to look cute in the pictures I don’t give a fuck if I’m cold. Your eyes were rolling in the back of your head and you were mumbling to yourself. Your large beautiful hands caked in dust held a pen and I saw the beginning of the letter you were writing. Dear Lance. I won’t write the rest here. But it was the letter of a man who knew he didn’t have much longer written with the spelling and penmanship of someone who wasn’t given a chance at life.

I allowed myself one moment of really feeling for you, without any cynicism or blame or maudlin thought, and then I walked on with the rest of the horde of people living their lives in smart heels with their little dogs who have always eaten better and been loved better than you.

One thought on “Dear Lance

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