you can always hate me tomorrow

i want to ask white supremacists what it means to them to be white
what part of the human experience are they able to access when they feel so white
what angers them about all that is not white
why would a white god put anything but white people on god’s good white earth

i want to ask neo-nazis what their ideal world is like
not on the foretold day of great victory, but just a lazy sunday a century after final independence
what would never happen again, ever, that is worth fighting for
that is worth dying for
that is worth killing for

i want to ask the alt-right why their opinion of the liberal agenda should be the loudest one of all
what the right to free speech means if all their speech is only ever “ironic”
what their honest heart-on-sleeve take is on how they’re feeling
right here, right now, in there

yes you
i’m talking to you,
looking into your eyes, deep down
not the name, not the costume
not the avatar pic or the clever nick
the person deep inside
past the blood, beyond the flesh
don’t run, i mean no harm
you can always hate me tomorrow
but just for now,
shall we declare a truce, and talk

just talk, really talk
not about ideas or concepts
not about alternate histories or imagined futures
just me and you
let’s talk about our lives
our earliest memories, our darkest fears
a tour of the highlights and the doldrums
(life huh, it gets us all in the end)

what’s the hurry brother
you can always hate me tomorrow
please won’t you stay a while longer
what do you have to lose
except the weight of 
the axe that will never be sharp enough
no matter how much you grind
it seems like quite a burden
to carry; why not get some rest

i would ask you if you know someone you love 
more than anything in the world
and your fondest memories of that person
no really, i’m genuinely curious to know
why that person means so much to you
that you would even give your life in place of the other
love is truly a precious resource
refreshing fulfilling manna, sweet nectar
to bear the burdens of life
psst do you want to know a secret
i’ve learnt
love isn’t found, it is grown

you know, let’s talk about those kind of things

i want to tell you i can relate to that

i want to tell you i feel strongly too
i want to tell you all i’ve learned in life so far, 
the hardest lessons and the sweetest joys
that i secretly admire people with all the answers
to all the big questions 
how illuminating it must be
to see clearly without doubt or anxiety
and how urgent it must feel
to have to set the world aright as it should be
single-handedly

me, i’m barely hanging on
trying to make sense of it all
can’t always tell right from left
let alone right from wrong
all i know is the sudden pang i feel
when i witness an injustice 
heart drops, stomach turns, spirit dies a little death
every muscle and fiber in my body compels me to act
so i shout weakly, perhaps too meekly
hashtag not in my name 
but maybe i’m just a coward 
to not put my own body down
on the line that must not be crossed
frankly i’m not even sure half the time
if i’m a good person deep inside
or pretending really really well

can you relate to that

oh look at the time
dawn is coming, you have to go
it’s time to pick up the axe and hate again
we might meet soon after all, you and i 
i’ll be on the line
the line that cannot be crossed
i changed my mind

no i’m not any braver
but honestly i’m not sure 
if i could live with myself knowing
when circumstances required my participation so badly
i didn’t act 
that my inaction could only be read as a decision
to be complicit
in even the most banal and petty of evils
i don’t think i can bear my memoir to be 
a self-satisfied “i survived” 
so just to be sure
i’ll be on the line

even then, don’t be a stranger
come say hi
you can always hate me tomorrow