Sunny Side

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I step off the downtown bus
In humid, too-hot-for-spring heat.
I remember when I first moved
To this side of town and
Put a bridge between my geography.

Here, lines of skateboarders
And littered trails by the river,
Buildings filled with lives of every color.
I wander past cemeteries and parks
Both appear green on the map.
A train rumbles
In the distance with my thoughts.

I’ve learned a dozen roses will survive
Eleven days in my car with no water.
An unsubtle, browning message
That not even an end comes quickly.

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The Night Before

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Each day grows more and more like yesterday
A swollen sunshine beating down on us
Making me sweat with the anticipation,
The hope,
That I might finally melt away.
Hand in hand,
I give each of you a finger
Saving only my middle ones
For ease of communication.
Each one, who wanted to own a piece
Without knowing what the pieces, together
Appeared to be.

Heart beats per minute equals, measured at
Negative forty degrees Fahrenheit,
I don’t know the conversion factor,
I only convert boys to men,
Then back again.
I wear a name tag to bed so
In the morning I will remember more easily
Who we all were
The night before.

 

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I Am Your Monsoon

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Here is art,
Filling the air
Inhaled by sick lungs
Yours and mine.
Here is an aura,
My feet are chasing
Pounding pavement carelessly.

I stand, a witness to your boyhood
A jury to watch growing pains,
Shaving nicks, and other places to bleed from.
I might save you, but I wouldn’t try.
There’s no receipt,
no past the point of no return.

Something changes with the wind;
There are rocking waves that I sailed away with.
The tide has swallowed my land,
Don’t plant your flag here.
Hurricane season hasn’t left,
I am your monsoon.

 

 

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Bleached

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Grinning with new teeth
(3 shades lighter than last week)
Bared, ready
To tear throats from necks,
Lettuce leaves from dainty salad forks
Keeping my shaking legs steady
Beneath the skirt of my
White, eyelet dress.

When my room smells
Like swimming pools
I feel less like
I might be drowning.
I douse my floor,
My sinks,
My eyes in bleach
Hoping it emerges, sparkling

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No New Goodbye

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When there is
No new goodbye,
Only soft, sweet greeting,
Finally, will there be
A safe place to land.
I haven’t fallen,
Though I have stumbled down stairs
And into open doorways.
Tripping turned sprinting
I’ve made a cardio routine
Out of running away,
Leaving other people to
Bandage the scrapes.
The heart is just
One more muscle to sprain.

Soon, I will be a new machine,
Stainless-steeled, sparkling.
Only taken apart by
A meddling handyman
Too adept with a screwdriver
For his own good.

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DTJ or Broadcasts from Locker Room

Even the postman stopped
To scratch his head and say
He’d uh thought that
We’d uh fought a war.
I didn’t mean to disappoint
That dear old boy
As he handed me a postcard,
With a few lines,
“Wish I were somewhere
But here.”
I wanted to hand him back
A message about
Criticism, prosperity, and depth,
How these blueprints for battle plans
Makes me want to vomit on your boat shoes,
Like rancid canola oil going down.

You can kick us like your ex wife and
Beat in my teeth with your insecure hands.
Call the fire department to extinguish my bra,
Teach me how to take these blows like a man,
And I’ll teach you to blow better,
And take it like a lady.

Think of me,
Busted-up smile, untrustworthy face,
While you think back to
Your locker room afternoons,
Embarrassed about how quickly
Your ego would show,
How strikingly pathetic and tiny it was.

You use adjectives to tell us
What we can do to you in heels,
Every shrieking moment
More crass, less relevant
We know how to do these things in flats.

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In The Back Of The Temple

Biblically, you ought not spill your seeds on infertile soil-
You’ve come to know me as your lush,
Dirty grounds, an ethical gray area.
Taking matters into our own hands,
You spill in my open palms,
On fertile hills and a bitten smile.
I will kneel before you in prayer
That we’ve met God’s demands.

“Abba” means “daddy”
I haven’t screamed either for you.

In the back of the temple,
Is a bath for the unclean.
Bathe in water,
Before devouring a sacrificial lamb.
It’s blood touches your lips,
And you will finally know what I taste like.

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Left

 

Count on one hand
Then the next
Everything that is here

Looking from afar
To see things moving farther,
Muttering, “just go”
Mulling over
Why you haven’t just disappeared.

Just check for
A co-creator in morbidity
Deceptive conceiver,
If I were you,
I wouldn’t be you
At all.
If I were here
By now I would have left

 

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A Study: The Economics of Dying

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Vegetables don’t feed flowers
The way a body will.
A legacy of “I
Was here, too.”
Grown from decay,
Wilting again
A hand-picked bouquet.

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No New Gods

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The machinery of his heart, always at war with his mind-
He, who wrestled life away from scraps; those husks of peace left in compost buckets.
Off-brand savior, who nails sleep to a cross,
Sacrificing restfulness for children who were no longer child-sized.
He, who loves animals because they live exactly as they have to
He, who mixes ink and poison, takes a drink
And writes his last will and testament, perfectly in meter on the back of a receipt.
Inevitably, death will reach out a hand and find
There is nothing to take.
A litany of collapsed idols have arrived,
Their ghosts parading through hallways and streets,
A march lead by fanatics and faint-hearted paranoids,
Full-grown kids,
In chemerical clothing,
Espousing that there are no new gods,
No new gods,
No new gods.
God isn’t dead,
He’s just napping.

Here is the church,
Here is the steeple
Open the doors
And here is a lion,
Here is its prey.
Here is a mirror,
That reflects like stained glass.
Here is the face of a man
Dreaming through an endless labyrinth
Of creatures and cultures he thought he could abide by.
Here are mountains that look
Strikingly like giant’s shoulders
Only when he stands at the bottom,
Looking up.

Books and planets,
Convulsing with creation,
He observes this, settles on rooftops
To drink wine that had gone sour decades ago.
We are the last men here, maybe.
Swimming in the night
Through fenced fluorescence
That smelled like freedom, once.

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