Day 24 of 30

AN HONEST TALK WITH DAUGHTER (if i have a daughter)

daughter
your mother will teach you
how to swing and wield
she will show you
how to cut
how to open skin
of things
how to shine and slit
and make halves of
this whole world

and i
will tell you
what blood tastes like
my mouth made rose
from kissing your
mother’s crimson creases
i will whisper to
your wounds as well
i will clench stitch-up
needle and thread
between teeth
house your scream
under my tongue
keep you from tasting
your own iron

but still
i cannot swing and wield
a sword i have never had
the strength to lift
i cannot pretend to
know how to cut
or open skin clean
i cannot begin to
know the weight
of woman and weapon

i only know
how to be sheath

daughter
i only know
how to be sure
you are safe
and sharp

Day 22 of 30

EARTH DAY, 2017 (for the planet)

took a while to figure out
what to say

this poem
feels like an apology
feels like an obituary

had a bunch of siblings
had a bunch of cousins

family everywhere
but not a friend in sight

Day 21 of 30

GROWL (for all the good people, and there are some, I’ve met in middle America after the election who feel…uh…taken.)

to tell a hungry man
with hug and humor and
hubris that you will
teach him to fish knowing
his empty belly
has him blind to the fact
that he is landlocked

to promise

to say to him
i can hear your stomach
growling from my penthouse
and to know that in famine
even phony feels like food

Day 20 of 30

BROWN PAINT (for the artist, Barkley L. Hendricks, RIP)

paint brown on blue
paint brown on red
but whatever you do
dont paint brown dead

and that aint ’cause brown
dont actually die
but why paint brown down
when you can paint brown fly

Day 19 of 30

PRODIGAL for my patient friends and family…(and yes, she found him)

this morning
at a cafe on lincoln
a mother poked her head in
she’d lost her son
said he was on a bike
his brother was supposed
to watch him
she was just gone
for a moment
he had been gone
for a minute
that must’ve felt
like a month
his brother felt
like a monster
like a mountain placed
on his mind
no one but his brother
could move

that fast
everything changed
that fast

i was supposed to watch him
i was supposed to watch him
he said his words a gurgle
matching the making of a
cappuccino

i did not see him
no child on a bike
pedaled past
i did not say anything
i could not
i could have
i did not
but did not swallow
another bite of benedict
could not

did call my little brother
not so little anymore
his voice a deep roast
i’m sorry
i haven’t been around
to watch you
been gone
for a minute
much more
than a month
i feel
like a monster
with a mountain placed
on my mind
don’t know how to
move it
to move things

so fast
everything has changed
so fast

Day 18 of 30

MUSEUM, FREE OF CHARGE, SUGGESTED DONATION (still working this out…hmmm)

went to the museum today
perused corridors of
artifact-clad walls
paintings and prints
of people from past
other times in
this world

and i thought
what if hate were here
a thing that could be
housed in a palatial space
maybe framed in gold
or incased in glass
or roped off by blood velvet
like the mona lisa

what if it was some
fragile installation
taking up every inch
so that you could step into
the museum but could not
move or touch or breathe or

what if it was
performance art
starring you and me
and you and you and us
where pain is part
of the art of it all
and we just clap
for ourselves
like damn
we a part
of history

what if hate came
with a pamphlet
and an exhibition tour guide
start at the top
work your way down

and what if your name
and my name was on
every piece
our signatures scribbled
across every canvas
each one like a mass
grave a mess of ink
everyone fawning and
falling over

what if it was outsider art
where everything is built
by that which has been destroyed
repurposed human
looks just like you
you’ll say to you

what if it was just
a hall of mirrors
or a hall of hallways
or a hall of fame

of people from now
this time in
this world