The Rage: Carrie Two

Why did they have to remake you?
Wasn’t one pig’s blood dress enough?
Tommy’s dead head over a steel bucket,
dropped from the stage lights.

Therapy girl, I don’t want to see your burning town again—
Extension cords snaking on wet gymnasium floors,
The hiss of your electricity.

I don’t want special effects, hi-def levitations,
Your bloody girl glamor shot. I’m here for the rage.
Like you, I’ve had my Columbine moment—

City kids throwing fists and words at my head,
Your mother is a whore, and I was a statue,
an artist’s model waiting to be drawn

in piss my pants slacks, so don’t tell me
about suffering with your fake blood and fires.
Class is over, and this poem

is my gymnasium, and those screaming kids
are racing for the door. It only takes one turn
from my bloody head to shut it.

Depression Screening

November already, and the ornamentals are done,
their lush greens gone, bleached into harsh stalks,
leafy lengths ripped from roots by the aimless wind.

I want to see the colors of maize, Indian corn,
swirling in a thicket of rust, rains of reds
and yellows. Whatever.

I can only see the waiting work of fall,
the chilly air, the lost glove. How old was I
when I stopped dreaming?

Tomorrow, at the checkup,
the physician’s assistant will want to know this.
How many times in the past week have you felt depressed?

Have any thoughts of worthlessness?
And I want to say, take a breath.
Let me press the cold disk against your skin,

and breathe.

On a scale from one to ten, how is your pain?

And I want to ask, what’s the number for a wildfire
of burning backs, shards of arthritis like glass
in my knees?

Outside her window there are men like me
walking in rain, lugging jackhammers,
gathering tools in almost buildings,

shells of brick, bones of metal, eight hours of muddy hell.
A younger one kneels down in the dirt,
battered hard hat, ripped blue print in his hands.

On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your life?
And I want to ask, What’s the number for light,
not the sun, or the sum of everything

Not the cut down tree, aching knees
the rush of winter against sweat, heavy legs, screaming machines,
the dug up muck of earth?

I want to tell her about my dream last night, how I flew for the first time.
over the tops of buildings, over the Dollar General and
The closed down Isaly’s, the neon hum

from a Fox’s pizza. No sign of people, just the sound
of keep going, the rush of cars that sounded like ocean.
the disappearing light, the darkening road, It’s not you

she said, We ask this of everybody.