Can I Be Your Enemy?

I write myself tough
to become tough.
I shake my softness off
in poems because
I can’t in life.

This is not art —
it’s programming.
It’s training.
It’s teaching myself
the proper way
to throw a punch:

with my words,
and my eyes,
and my heart.

I paint my face
in greens and browns.
I stand very still.
My hands don’t shake
when I hold guns
anymore —

but maybe that’s
because they’re
pens.

I tell him
not to dream
of kissing me
because my
tongue is sharp
and will cut
the roof of his
mouth.

What I mean
is I love you
and I don’t
want to hurt
you, and
no —

this is a great
war.

And no —
this is a terrible
war.

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