by peers, by parents
by mosque, by school
by rules and laws
you will be fucked up
before you’re old enough to think
the luckiest
will be mostly left alone
but there is no vacuum
the interactions of the molecules
the percolations of the chemicals
will still pound, kneed
tenderize, enfold, mold
rise and bake
you are not who you are before you are
or even can be
a shaped and conditioned mass
differentiated from the rest
only by the boundary of your skin
but even that
clear distinction is in danger
of falling troublingly obscure in the mist
you will be crowded in
encroached upon, borders are crossed
ultimately porous, undefined
and they are you and you are them
and others are the devil
and you and yours are holy christs
swords raised
horses mounted
to charge against the infidel


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