--PAY ATTENTION TO THE FUCKING SUNSET
When you are born a crowThere is love at first
And then there isn’t
Minutes and days become
A manic scramble for food
Scraps or a buffet of road kill
Mating takes a distant second
Without sustenance you grow
Too weak to beat your wings
Which is why you must
To keep the circle spinning
Should you freeze to death
In the winter ice
Or die perched on
The branch of an Elm
No one will know or even care
Not your friends
If you have them
And certainly not
The one who birthed
You so long ago
What They Say
With a straight face,my teacher says I’ve got potential,
that I show every sign of becoming
a promising writer someday.
At home, Mom says I’m cute as salmon
with a hook in its mouth, flopping on a dock,
gasping for air.
Dad doesn’t say anything, doesn’t have to.
There’s a belt in his hand that goes flying.
It hits everything it sees, leaving lashes
and long memories.
The thing is youhave to like yourself first.
My therapist doesn’t say this exactly,
but that’s the gist, as threatening
as a blade to the throat.
he asks after I swallow.
There’s a painting on the wall
of an English fox hunt,
riders wearing sculpted caps,
white jodhpurs and red velvet
coats atop sleek horses.
“You’re not focusing.
We can’t make any progress this way.”
Half a dozen hounds are in mid leap,
their tails curled like whips.
“Where’s the fox?” I ask,
searching the brush and barren road.
He checks his wristwatch, cellphone,
the air above my head iron hot.
I ask again, “Where’s the fox?”
He crosses his arms, screws up his face,
rocks back and forth in a leather swivel chair,
wants to know why I’m so worried about a fox
when I can’t even find enough courage
to look him in the eye
lie like I really mean it.