I learned to lie in Church (poem)

I learned to lie in church
as the prince in a white trash Shakespearean play
while others sought salvation,
I was an heir to an insane empire
in the midst of a feudal world

I have many skills on my life’s long resume
but the most important ones, the real go-getters
were tender age things
like espionage and subterfuge,
and how to do all of that with a smile on my face
and bile in my throat

I learned to listen with active ears
for nuance, for inconsistencies in tales told to me
and to catalog those things for future use
of who to speak to and who to stay away from
in this many act play’s one trick pony

It was an inverted Gilded Age lifestyle
where we carried on as IF we were all prestigious
the elite, the creme de la creme,
too poor to really be of any concern to the world
Inside we were dripping in promises of mansions made of gold
while outside was nothing but busted concrete and black eyes
gang bangers and drive-bys.

What a life, this little kingdom of ours
one in the midst of an archipelago that spanned the globe,
the world dotted with thousands other
tragic kingdoms
whose collective power influenced the greatest in this republic
who swayed democracy’s role
whose children screamed with smiles on their faces

I learned to lie in church
God forgive me
But I was good at it. I was so damn good at it.
After all, I had to learn how to survive.
for there is nothing more dangerous than to be an heir to a throne
where the kings were all mad as hatters
whose only judge existed, invisibly, in some far flung place in the sky.

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