Thick Skin Makes For Lousy Sex

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Stop putting armor on that fancy suit, love.
The plate mail,
it clashes with your eyes.

The world is not asking you
to be tough,
to be disengaged,
to be pulled back from the shit show,
to be numb to the psychic screaming
of chainsawed trees
and finless sharks.

The world does not need
one more leaned-back pontificator,
one more dissociated intellectual,
one more slowly decaying know-it-all,
one more dispassionate bloviator,
one more sexless, artless thinkbrain,
one more unfeeling scribe
of the left hemisphere.

The world needs your heart.
It needs your guts.
It needs your passion plugged in
through the soles of your feet
and connected to each gasping fish.

Thick skin makes for lousy sex, love.
Art cannot pour through that breastplate.

The world is not impressed with your ability
to remain stonefaced while it dies,
to compute beneath a reddening sky,
to meet the emotional turmoil of a panicked civilization
with cool indifference.

Metamorphosis is irrational.
Salvation is contained not in the known,
for the known is what got us here.
Our transcendence lies cocooned
in the unknown.

Do you want to make yourself useful?
Really, truly useful?
Then feel.
Care.
Lay out naked on a large rock in the sun
and let that thick skin peel away from your body
and leave it in the weeds
to be reclaimed by the earthworms.

Listen, man of steel:
I see you.
I see that the ‘S’ on your chest is made of wounds
and your cape is an old coat
patchworked from learned flinches
attached by barbs embedded
in weeping sores.
You can’t fool me.

Take off your coat,
my precious wild-haired boy.
Let me see your ouchies.
We will clean them up.
See? Not so bad.
Now, unclench your fist
and show me the bird you hold in there.
Kiss her tiny forehead,
and let her free.

Feel.
Care.
I love you.

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I write about the end of illusions.

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