Wednesday, June 7, 2017



I am making up a new world
Ripping away the barbed wire fences
Creating a moveable clay landscape
Turning cedars into palm trees
Despots into doves
Demons into ordinary parents
The kind that don’t smirk
When they say I love you
The kind of parents that
Don’t make you tremble


Each Morning

Each morning
I put on the same costume
Zip my fly,
Collect my books and
Pat down the surf wave
Cowlick I’m often teased about
Already I’m aware that there are
Far worse things
Than being teased
Already I’ve seen them up close
Felt their slice, their bite
Seen the bloody aftermath

At the bus stop I remind myself
That a beaver doesn’t mind the rain
A polar bear can withstand frigid cold
An eagle still soars in headlong winds
Why then should a scarecrow
Mind a good beating?
Waiting for the bus,
I rehearse the answer like it’s a mantra:
Nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing.
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

Each morning after
Another night of atrocities at home
Mother lights up at the table
Shooting cigarette smoke into our
Ears and cereal bowls,
Ready for a fight
Ready with the belt or pole
Repeating the same question:
What have you got to complain about?
What have you got to complain about? Huh?
The answer is one I know
The very one I’ve been practicing for weeks
Yet it’s a brick in my throat
A bloody fist
And I go mute again
Which makes her smile
Which makes her stop smoking for a while
Which makes her stand and
Find the nearest weapon, saying
Jesus Christ, when will you learn?



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