Right to Bear

“Right to Bear”


I have a right to bear


shiny new ones


all my own,

so new they

don’t yet have


tags sewn to

their inseams, steam              

fresh from the


press of flesh,

sinews unworn and

unweary: mine, yours. 


I have a right to bear


like how I miss you

too much to love you,

and the loss of dreams

that is the prize of living. 


I am at liberty to lose

my balance, reel

into myself quite by accident,

and pull my hair behind my ears

while stuttering hello. 


I have a right to bear


in the Post Office and dormitory,

in bars and alleyways between

cars and destinations, always the in-between

in which my shoulders stray forward,

my eyes slouch down and around,

and I long for arms—bulky, hairy ones

with hard trigger-pulls and a double-barreled

chest attached, breathing steadily. 


I possess the freedom to wish

hard for that chest wherever I go. 

Not to be accompanied, but to be

emancipated and manly, unapproachably

fuzzy, and everywhere adored, yet

terrifying in a new way altogether: 

clawing for honey, lumbering for trout,

bugging campers out. 


I have a right to bear arms.