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Is it might or right, from your
front door standing in the night?

You raise your fist and sound
the alarm, speak tough words

and are willing to roll around
with other men, on the ground

of prisons, jails and sin, but if
“I could just be the toughest,

Perhaps they would give me a
medal of honor, and I would finally…


“I’m gonna kick your ass” is the favorite
of the “Tough”—not seeing the homo-

sexual connotations in raping peace
with certain incarceration, where you

might find yourself rolling around soon
with other men who thought they were

Tough, then ended up showing their
toughness to male guards, temporary

male prostitutes, trying to substitute
for co-ed life away from the bars.

Then one day you think, maybe I should
not fight so much, or act on anger

all the time, pushing my weight around,
because wait:

Life is short, and I’d rather be free where
I go, free of anger, fear and pride driving

me every which way but home—to the bar,
to the road, to the fight, to the
handcuffs, to the booking, to the
stories told when everybody’s looking,

to a lonely cell, the brotherhood of
all men and women, could have listened
to Jesus Christ, turned the other cheek,

kissed the girl, raised a family—

So stop rolling around with other men—
or threatening homoerotic fantasies,

And come back to God, peace, and
general neighborhood tranquility.

Tough, like Cool is dead—in the presence
of cooler, calmer, eternal Nice.

God bless us to nice—a Tough thing to
be—the best if you want to breathe
long… And See.