the poet considers the work of his hands

and they are soft—

no forced labor here,

and if labor, the bore of his voice

with no one listening…

hushed, wheezing, rasping, for more

the thousand evils we bring upon weak men

are the seeds to grow greatness

from their cavernous cores of inferiority

It has not been, when I felt like a master, that I needed to out-perform my slave-mentality

It was when I was mocked, and told that I had soft hands—that my hands became like iron

fighting, as if my shadow, might fight back

choking the life

from my own laughter, thinking it was theirs


is for those who don’t want to go to war

I prefer

to press against pain with my heart

stirring up feelings that last more than a day

If someone makes me feel this way,

I will remember them, forever—I will remember the fight I never had

it will haunt me, in dreams—the ghost of greatness, that never died, and never lived.

To be soft, is to work with feelings

to be sharp, is to work with death

words cut, but only if we let them, and most people engage in self-harm

to be hard, is to work with the earth, and learn the lessons of survival

Few people, I know, work in the earth

but I do see them cut wide-open

bleeding bitterness, and love for what they lost

The beginning of life, is a contest of getting

Near the invisible finish-line

we pass, who lost

We don’t feel victory, because we know, we in turn, will lose

We carry them inside us still,

like phantom pain—a prosthetic part of us, no longer there

Those we loved,

and those we hated



We will all lose,

we didn’t know them—not really

We just wash, and keep shaking hands

Soft hands, I have soft hands

they are waiting for someone soft

words won’t matter, when whatever happens, happens

calloused, cut, and sensitive

our hands



soft hands.

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