The Hated One

Consider me, the hated one

The foe that you unceasingly must vanquish

Constructed out of stories half-heard long ago
And many what-you-read-somewheres
Defended only by the ineffectual and immoral —

I, and my people, stand accused

Of many things, but most frequently,
Of hating

You gorge yourself almost daily on
Your tribal diet of diatribes
Against the likes of me

But you have had personal experience of my kind, you say:
I disagreed with you
I live differently
And expect you to allow me to continue to do so;
This you cannot, will not do

Because this is how it is:
In your quiet life, you have known humility;
To struggle, to fail, to get back up —
But in the life of me and my people
There is always superiority on your side

You *just know* I’m wrong —

That I think what we think,
That I live how we live
Is a manifest sign of my lovelessness:
For the sheer effrontery we indulge in everyday
In not thinking of you

Yet, you do not know me –
You burn straw men and straw women every day,
And call them me

And when you can, you burn the real me

But, because you love your own,
You cannot be loveless;
Because you do not know me or mine,
You say we are

I know these words will not assuage you,
You will not think they apply to you —

And you will never know that what you cannot forgive
Is not our differences

But what is alike between us

I will continue always to be,

Your hated one

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