real people

My wife calls them real people –
not real like tangibility or taxes,
but like bluegrass
or hip-hop before a producer’s “creative
direction” (that father of lies).
The sort of people who are atheists
because Jesus was a home-town boy,
smoking weed and tagging their tenements with
damnable revolutionary graffiti –
Not because some tsunami
on their big screen
soured their wine.
It’s not honesty,
not hearts worn on sleeves,
but that worn sleeves don’t hide bruises
like SUVs,
and what the neighbors think
is whether you’re good for a smoke
sitting on the cracked steps outside.
My wife calls them real people –
but I can’t bring myself to it.
We are all secrets locked in towers
bristling with spires and crennelations,
peering between merlons and
down murder holes, suspiciously
guarding our empty halls.
A castle beseiged or worn
by saltbreeze, seasons, intrusive ivy,
is a fortress yet; walking through
rotted gates, hostile gazes envy
my stiff keep of a neck.
“Real” is not a thing of degrees,
measured in cracks and breaches.
It is the trebuchet
whirring stony hammer-loads
across your bulwarks, and mine.

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