Conflict

This piece appeared in the first and only issue of Mosaic: A Magazine of Arts, Sciences & Everything in Between, which evolved into this website.

She was telling me about the death penalty
and the murders that hurt her family
The justice of the gun
and the victory of the righteous
I told her Jesus was cryin’ in his grave;
the accused ain’t always what he’s made out to be
and how you can’t believe everything on TV

Then we yelled and cried
and fucked the pain away
her innocent eyes looked vacuous and strange
I knew she didn’t see my point
nor I hers
It was just another conflict

The greatest wars are the littlest battle
Victory is death and your reign is your rattle
Cocky is the champion
humble the saint
but they’re both in conflict
and you can’t say they ain’t

It’s like the left and the right
Pick your spot on the line
Don’t fall off
and you’ll be fine
Grab the rope and dig into the slick
Do your part in the big conflict
Flip the coin
It’s heads v. tails
Put on the blinders
and set the sails

If you’re lucky you’ll miss all the connections
the common ground in between elections
where ideas aren’t opposites
so much as different angles
to a common problem
that faces us all
We can hold each other up
or fight till we fall
in this conflict

The greatest wars are the littlest battle
Victory is death and your reign is your rattle
Cocky is the champion
humble the saint
but they’re both in conflict
and you can’t say they ain’t

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