Cunt—now there’s a word
that will finish a poem
before it gets started.
Fuck—is another show-stopper

that could land your ass in jail.
Using those “kind” of words
aloud or in print is considered obscene,
inappropriate, or unnecessary—offenses

against the “gentle sensibilities”
of the general public, yet
we have no problem
teaching our children it’s okay to kill

other (most likely darker) children
far away (or sometimes not) whose
hing-hong squawking, wrong-thinking,
terrorist-talking parents want to destroy us

and steal our freedom, our God
blessed way of life, our nuclear arsenal,
our gas barbecues and Barbie dolls. It’s okay
to fuck people if you’re making good money.

That’s just business in the “free” marketplace.
It’s okay to fuck-up the Earth—plants, animals,
water, sky, people, and dirt—if you’re waving
green under the red, white, and blue.

If this irony wasn’t so sadly true,
maybe those “bad” words that bite and spit,
that so aptly express our animal instinct
to metaphorically rip and tear out

the throats of these selfish mother-fuckers, maybe
then “fuck” would fall out of use, but as long as man
continues to persecute and hoard in order to get more
toys, to collect more shit, keep piling up cash,

chasing that consumptive dream of satisfaction
that never quite satisfies, I will continue to scream

every time the stench of blood or oil
dumbfounds me again, leaves me agape and amazed
that we still play this game. I know anger
is my albatross, my cross to bear, and I figure

if you’re still here, Dear Reader, you must know
what I mean, you must sing in this choir, have carried
this “thing” all of your life, too, and like me, most likely,
you’re just fucking tired of it, the same old shit, and

you believe love is the only cure. But you can’t shut up
when these fuckers murder, pollute, and abuse.
I refuse to watch my mouth in the name of decorum.
The obscenity is too great. There’s fucking blood on my shoes.

—for Bob Bauer

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