The Most Convenient Definitions

“Battling your demons,”
they call it.
Fighting the monsters.
Taming the beast.
Or, perhaps,
rebuking the Devil.

You must cleanse yourself.
You must take this pill.
You must do yoga.
You must read this book.

You must.

I suppose I can’t lie;
shedding the past is good.


do you remember?
Think back.

Before you were told what to fear.
Before you were told what to hate.
Before you were told what was wrong with you.
Before you were told who to be.

I’ll tell you true,
cross my heart, hope to die-

’cause I seem to recall a boy,

whose demons brought him food,
whose monsters came out from under the bed 
and gathered ’round for story time,
whose beasts ran with him
past the high school lockers,
and who walked the prairies and woods
with Lucifer and Jesus both;

we shared Canadian whiskey,
Dominican cigars,

and harmed not ourselves 
nor any soul,

traipsing the beat
in the heart of creation.


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