Sun shower,
concrete haze,

umbrella dance routines,
sandblasted day dreams.

Rain-bowed hypodermic,
needles intravenous from Mars,

too fatigued,
faded camouflaged genes.

Schizophrenics tied in knots,
put under by their bootstraps.

Elders lack respect,
the space between a first word
and that first “I can’t.”

An unlit cigarette,
sea foam shame,

gold medal tan lines,
accomplishing nothing in vain.

Bad Name

Who do you call on the cops?
I’m not sure if I need to go back to therapy

or hunker down in a fixed state of meditation
for as long it takes to break everything not yet,
still broken.

These nodding heads of the table,
acquaintances talking in circles about their circle of friends,

the political savvy,
self-proclaimed free spirited,
neo socialite elites,

dressed in hand-me-downs
and tailored crew neck sweatshirts,

engulfed in a discourse unraveling their immaturity
to unveil nine rows of baby teeth.

Are you also nervous that I’m not nervous about anything?

It took nothing really,
just the willingness to abandon everything without running away,
but rather moving towards forwards.

I know all the words to all the poems I haven’t written yet,
the disease and the cure live within,

when war is waged,
you too will wave a flag,

tie ribbons ‘round plastic trees,
cheap seats,
the home of the brave,

two guns,
three sons,
street lights,
a trophy mistress hidden in plain sight.

“If all you give to your job, and all it takes from you, is time, you are doing it wrong,”
said the career student with the bubble gum vape,

chomping at the bit to spit science at climate change deniers,
preaching that the weed he smokes unleashes his free thought,

but doesn’t understand how that makes him a slave to self-doubt,
while dudes in prison are locked over a blunt and a 40 oz.

Cleaning House

I’m in OCD mode,
deleting photos, emails and text messages,

in doing so,
I found the video you took on my phone,

where you held it as if you were taking a selfie,
your face in the foreground,

the same face that was missing from my class,
when I sent an email asking the rest of the staff if they’d seen you.

You got two jobs, worked nights,
got your own place,
but something was still missing,
and what found you filled its place.

After graduation we’d drop lines,
but your grandmother is the one who kept me in the loop,

hadn’t come home,
doing great,
funeral arrangements,
viewing services,
birth date, death date.

In the paper it was written as just another murder,
but to me,
to us,
it was something we’d never get over.