Hardened

Looks like my poems and lists have cross-pollinated.

This one is called “Hardened.”


Hardened

Hardened like an orphan.
Hardened like a fighter.
Hardened like clay in a kiln.

Hardened like a hooker,
like a war correspondent,
like a branch that’s becoming a limb.

Hardened like carbon,
like lava,
like arteries,
like roles.

Hardened like the air where
now there’s a wall.
Hardened like a baby’s skull.

Hardened like a dick
in some pants in a boat
that’s flowing into the
Tunnel of Love.

Hardened like mortar,
or a less-fresh corpse, or
a criminal,
a baguette
or gum.

Like an old tortoise,
like one’s concept of justice,
like education,
scars,
bonds.

Hardened like the grip
of the widow
in the window.
Hardened like callouses
and corns.

Hardened like will
etched into the past,
like cave wall pictograms
that yet ripple like flags.

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