For All of the Suicides on Christmas Day

Feel sorry for a stray dog with a limp.
Feel sorry for a cat with frostbitten ears.
Feel sorry for a ten-year-old kid at school
with no lunch and no lunch money.
Feel sorry for a fifty-year old man
working for a commission that’s less than minimum wage.
Feel sorry for that woman with a black eye.
She has two children under three and
her bank card has just been declined at Wal-Mart
while twenty other people stand in line behind her waiting.
Feel sorry for the cops that go to suicides on Christmas Day.

Stores that sell things to rich white women
sell candles now that are so infused
with a chemical lavender
that you can breathe them in, close your eyes,
and imagine an old lady dying alone in a house full of cats.
Across the street, a man sits alone on a couch watching football.
You’ll miss me when I’m dead and gone, he says,
When there is no one to pay for all of your shit.
No one else in the house hears him.
He won’t be missed.
Feel sorry for them, all of them, and
bleed a little bit when they bleed, and
maybe pray that God lets them all
have a little Christmas
on suicide day.

Fuck Yeah

The method merits mention
when meaning meets momentum
in a man singing
fuck yeah,
fuck yeah,
fuck yeah,
going through the windshield
of a borrowed car.

On the dashboard
and on the floorboards
liquor, oxy, witnesses
to the song and his intentions
fuck yeah,
fuck yeah,
fuck yeah,
he sings,
passing through the total wreck
of a borrowed car.


The dead do not summon the living.
That is the proof that there is no life after death.

The sensation of falling precedes,
by necessity,
death by suddenly stopping falling.
So, it is not flight.
Nothing is given to us that we might ascend.
We have only the fear in our stomachs while we fall.

The boy,
once handsome of eye and strong of limb,
an athlete,
had overdosed on fentanyl and passed away
face down and alone on the grass in a public park.
After this had come to be,
I spoke to one of his stepmothers
—no, not the most recent—
and not a stepmother really,
but someone his father had lived with once,
just another dependent.
Did you know, I asked?
She disputed the inference that she didn’t,
because she wanted to be above blame,
even if there was none assigned.
She had only the fear in her stomach while falling,
the fear she mistook for flight.

The Man in the Wheelchair Outside of the Post Office

If we prayed for wisdom
like we pray for money
we wouldn’t need any money.

We saw a man in a wheelchair
because his leg has been
amputated above the knee
because of diabetes.
He’s schizophrenic too,
and he can’t take care of himself,
but someone does, so there he is,
in his wheelchair outside of the post office,
and every woman that walks by
he calls a whore, and if we
prayed for wisdom like we pray for money
we’d have order and institutions
and the institutions would be better
and no one would have to see
that crazy man,
stump bare, shouting
whore, whore, whore
while we walk by, drink our coffee and
scroll through our phones,
waiting for whatever it is we wait for.