02.11.23 what are you having?

We tell each other,
with caution, with admonition
with wry sarcasm
“don’t drink the kool-aid.”

Ha! Check your cup.
You might not remember what anything else,
what freedom
tastes like.

It might sometimes taste like
Kool-aid. Or Tang.
Those sweet childhood elixirs
that were as satisfying to taste
as to mix:
watching the way water,
with the addition of practically nothing,
could swirl and shift and become
a simple sort of mana.

Until we were persuaded, that is,
by the additions, the dilutions of others
into drinking something just as alluring,
but casting very different light.

We do need to taste both sides, all of us,
as we mature, we grow.
Our tastes do change.

But freedom never does.

01.31.23 mirror

If instead of looking above your peers,
you’d looked down, seen the way
all my furious, defiant, confrontational passion,
primed and ready,
froze in terror when my eyes found your face
so pure, so full of vibrance…
I wonder what would have happened if
I’d kept my original course
intercepting your path,
instead of jumping aside,
ducked down, crouching in fright
behind the legs of our peers
as you passed.