CALIFORNIA HATERS

by tom bauer

Hate crimes soared in California in 2022, with year-over-year rises recorded in crimes targeting virtually every demographic group, according to a report released Tuesday. —Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2023
what is hate? the angry white boy, proud,
determined to bring worlds to their knees?

is it the ruminative brain, snowballed
around some speck of ugly dusty thought?

in brains is it like geysers boiling over
under shale until the surface cracks, breaks?

what is the spark? injustice felt? a pain
inside the eye, a prick of a needle?

i could have gone that way. some angry guy
infecting my brain with wrongheaded dreams.

a year or two to change the brain and off
i’d go, powered by resentment’s battery.

in gratitude it’s hard to hate. the choice
is always mine to make. it is my brain.

tom bauer lives in montreal with his sons and plays boardgames.

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