Thinking about writing.

Labels

labels
We can do better than this.
Better than all this
conflict
competition
division
stereotyping.

I know that being on a team makes us feel like we belong
and labels make us feel like there's an order
but we are not Mason Jars
or aluminum cans
slotted together on a dark shelf
in perfect, predictable order
as if the psychopath from Sleeping With the Enemy
got into the Cupboard Under the Stairs.

Instead of
Orthodox
Jewish
Protestant
Buddhist
Humanist
Scientist
Atheist
Heretic
Muslim
Catholic
Schismatic
why don't we say
we believe?

Instead of
Progressive
Traditional
Liberal
Conservative
Republican
Democrat
Green
Libertarian
Communist
Socialist
why don't we say
we think?

Instead of
American
Irish
Texan
White
Hispanic
Black
Mixed
Russian
Iraqi
Saudi
Yankee
Southerner
why don't we say
we live?

Instead of 
Artist
Writer
Musician
Pro-Life
Pro-Choice
Addicted
Crazy
Sick
Grieving
why don't we say
we suffer?

Instead of 
Gay
Straight
Bi
Lesbian
Celibate
Chaste
why don't we say
we love?

Can I do the uncomfortable and improper thing and
root for the other team
vote for the other candidate
dwell amongst my enemies
walk in someone else's shoes
worship discomfited
hope they find their Beloved?

I will peel off my label
my faded
shredded
Orthodox
Catholic
Progressive
Traditional
White
Chaste
Texan
Writer 
label
and say instead
I'm a Believing, Thinking, Living, Suffering Lover
and so are you.

(On the Canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II)
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