Half of my social media feed
is men who don't know what camp is,
campily confessing with preens
and courtesan laughter from a bad 80s comedy
that they'd date
the gender swap face filter version of themselves.
The other half is women
speaking in anger, shock, or sadness
about the efforts of several states
to severely curtail or eliminate
their right to bodily autonomy
by the passage of anti-abortion legislation.
The men stop just short of paraphrasing
a quote from a movie serial killer-
"would you fuck me? I'd fuck me" -
as if virtual eyeliner
has conferred on them an understanding
of the weight of sex on a woman.
As if rouge added to a photo
is a substitute
for the experience of the antiseptic silence
of hospitals and police stations.
Silence eerily at odds with the roiling incursions
or the angry leering voices and picket signs
carried by their own
mothers and fathers
on every street, sneer, and TV commercial without.
One person in my feed has completely lost the plot
and is still lamenting
the partial degradation in a fire
of a frequently remodeled old church
If you think the vulnerability
of sacred stonework is humbling,
consider how fragile a thing
In one day you can revert
to what you were
or change into something
as if a filter were added or removed.
A law lacks the postcard appeal of granite saints,
but has provided sanctuary to
something other than fictional subalterns;
has secured in some limited fashion
the teen runaway and abused niece.
In 1973 on the most flammable material,
it was printed that the Constitution [and many other edifices beside],
were made for people
with fundamentally differing views.
With no grand raising of stained glass it was said that freedom of personal choice in matters
of marriage and family life
This is true until the wind picks up a disastrous
spark and it isn't.
Anything we've ever built,
any spire straining and twisting skyward,
is only as secure as our will
to protect it,
or rebuild it should it lay
A pile of stones is not a cathedral,
a thin veneer is not the reality,
in life, liberty, or gender.
And an agreement
over who gets a say as to the ends
to which their bodies are turned over
occupies more than a town square.
The notion that there is choice
in the most intimate aspects
can either remain a monument
to our aspirations,
or be returned to the rubble
we stood briefly against.
And then a senator's son,
briefly pouting his lips
as purple lipstick floats atop
on a screen,
will be raised as the height and full extent of our society's empathy
(the rebuild of notre_dame is a modernist monstrosity on top of a millennium of history)
what's it to you?