When a man with peace in his heart
is told by a man of violence
that they will revisit their encounter
and one will need to take the life of the other,
is it right for the peaceful man
to dampen his soul
with the study of violent arts?
When a nightmare filmstrip
plays on a loop
inside a man’s head
and the broken volume control
is set to amplify and echo:
pain, agony, frustration, and anger,
how can he look out
at those with him
and project Love?
How can a man model himself
after a good man, a strong man,
when that man has long since
She explained it all once
when he told her,
I don’t want to be another one who hurts you.
Don’t worry, she said, I’ll still know you’re a good man.
How would you know a good man, he said.
I know what a good man is not, she said.