Red light blue light
in the half-moon window.
Mom is screaming,
car door is slammed,
Two officers, younger,
one man one woman
come in with Maglites,
the big metal flashlights
one uses to crack the skulls
and cheekbones of criminals.
They talk into little walkie-talkies
strapped to their right shoulders.
“We’ve got one young boy in the upstairs bedroom.”
They fumbled trying to find the lightswitch.
They sat me on the bed and pulled out
a yellow notepad and a pen.
They asked me if I was hurt, I said no.
They asked me what I saw, I told them
how I heard everything on the landing
of the basement steps.
I heard my father go off about
my mother’s drinking, the vodka in
the unused suitcase in the closet;
I heard her fist connect with my father’s jaw,
I heard my father say he’d call the fucking cops,
and that’s what he did.
The entire time I stood on that landing
my poodle laid on the floor beside me,
I scratched his head, he just looked up
at me as if to say “What happens next?”
I told the cops that.
They didn’t know how to react,
they didn’t know why I told them
but I think the idea hit them
like a Maglite to the temple,
like a sad dog on a stair landing.
And in-between our expressionless faces
the question remained:
“What happens next?”
I am afraid of you, Atlanta;
you stole my lunch money.
I have been in your veins,
Atlanta, your subway system
(a crackhead borrowed
my phone on the red line;
she had the kindest smile).
Atlanta, I saw a lady get her
purse stolen. The guards
chased him but I don’t think
they caught it; when will you
give it back to her, Atlanta?
Atlanta, my father sits in traffic
for four hours a day. I’d like to
think you’ll give him that time
back eventually but you learn
that Atlanta mostly takes
and gives nothing in return.
A homeless man with crutches
hobbled over to me once and
asked for $5, I obliged.
As I drove away I saw him
laughing, carrying his crutches
under his right arm.
I couldn’t get angry, Atlanta;
the city has taken more from
him than I can imagine.
The city will get its five dollars back
(and a little extra, too).
I was actually totally considering that but it didn’t come out that way the first time I suppose. But now that you mention it I’m gonna change it. Thanks for the suggestion and stuff!
Yesterday the News said that Aurora Borealis
would be visible in the American Midwest
and I figured it’d be about time something beautiful happened
around here so we went to a hill and wrapped
up in blankets and sweatshirts with hoods and pockets
and we waited to see the face of God
as the Canadians and Alaskans know it.
The News said it happened too early to be seen
and we missed it completely;
we wanted to see the full face of God
as the Canadians and Alaskans know it
but I guess he just blinked his eyes instead.
Every-so-often my neck will ache
in the spot where you used to bite it
and I catch myself rolling my neck on instinct;
so I’m sitting in class rolling my neck
thinking about how good you look
in camouflage coats and sun-dresses
and how when you’re naked I can count
your freckles and create constellations
(one constellation is called “Something About
True Love and The Sound of Your Breath”).
So I’m rolling my neck thinking of
rolling around in bed with you and
how your hair smells like a very very
clean thrift store;
(I mean that as a compliment
with the utmost sincerity and compassion)
I put a blanket over my head once
and became a ghost. Infants believe
that when they can’t see you that
you can’t see them and I see
infinite wisdom and convenience in that;
if you were to punch me in the stomach
your arm would go right through
but still you’d knock the wind right out of me,
sending my knees to the knotty carpet of reality.
Hello friends! I made a separate blog where I’ll post non-poetry things and reblog stuff. I’ll still be updating this blog just as frequently, but I’m just throwing this out there. Thanks!
I step onto a packed bus in Los Angeles.
I fumble with putting my cash in the ticketing machine
and the driver sneers.
I turn around and see no empty seats but only people,
stern-faced, quiet. Nobody’s talking.
Next to me is an older man,
grey ponytail sticking out of a camouflage baseball cap,
grizzled face. He looks right at me and says:
“You can’t put sixty fucking human beings in a sardine can.”
I nod my head “yes” with gravity, not daring to say a word.
Despite the silence being broken nobody reacts or responds,
the bus stops and the man gets off.
There are television screens lining the walls with a man
talking in front of a poorly-made green-screen,
he’s talking about the weather but the subtitles are in Spanish,
I’m the only one watching it because everyone else has seen it
hundreds of times today already..
I find an empty seat towards the back. Across from me is a hispanic man,
early-twenties, angry face. He nudges his friend sitting beside him and says
something in Spanish, they both look at me with angry faces.
When you’re not from somewhere everybody knows it,
and all you can do is patiently await the day you get mugged,
and as the men get off the bus one says “No importa.”,
and all I can think about is how
you can’t fit sixty humans in a sardine can.