When I think about poetry, I think about throwing words 
at someone bigger than myself who rules through fear. 
On good days, I feel like David whirling stones 
at Goliath’s older brother, on better days, Xerxes lashing 
the Hellespont. I know from the beginning of every sentence 
that I am heading towards barefoot, but like the first lyre 
whose strings were made from the intestines of goats, 
it takes gasps, weird looks, and some terrible ideas 
to get to the good stuff. For me, the good stuff is knowing 
that a couple of orphans overhead me playing 
outside the tavern and decided to break the lord’s window 
that night and snatch the ruby necklace he bought his wife 
by cheating serfs who couldn’t afford justice. It’s knowing 
that as the lights in the manor awoke to armored guards 
crashing up the stairs, they found overturned dressers 
and an open window. It’s knowing that the orphans, 
even as they were limping across the rooftops like battered birds, 
learned what the lyre taught me; Others may play it better 
and with far more grace, but let none play it with more guts.