Day 16 of 30

US

i dont know
what else to look
for in a poem
besides eyes
and use

them

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Day 15 of 30

ON POOR WHITE PEOPLE

there are moments i think about them
mostly i don’t but sometimes i do
think about when i was called boot bottom
by the creased upper and the scuffed heel
and the lace untaped untied a frayed
tentacle of thread loose and lackluster

there are moments i think about them
mostly i don’t but sometimes i do
think about how at some point we were all
cobbled together but it was me who was
called threadbare and flimsy bound to melt
on hot tar thin out from journey

there are moments i think about them
talking to me like they fedora feather
like they pocket square and windsor
like they tab and pleat break and crease
like we ain’t all down here as essential
outcasts from the onset completing this outfit

this purple pimp suit
like we ain’t all down here squeaking
and breaking and wearing and tearing
making sure the bare feet of america
never knows the intimate feeling of marching
on the fingers of the world aflame

Day 14 of 30

A CHALLENGED LOVE
(for Mark Pollock, who I saw speak with his partner at TED, 2018)

today i listened to a blind man
and his wife talk about the day
he became a blind paralyzed man
and how the double down dug them
into a deep hole neither of them
had packed boots for how she had

just taught him to dance in the
dark how to move and step and
listen to a body that would break
in half and still and would deny
him hip sway and gyrate and jig and
swing and touch of torso and dip and

darling you’ve never had to see me
to see me she said but darling this
is not what you signed up for he said
his wheelchair too cumbersome to cha-cha
and samba but perfect for somber saturdays
where she begs him to forgive his legs

for their miscommunication and his eyes
for their obsession with obsidian
she reminds him that his mouth can
still taste what’s too stubborn to leave
can still say what’s too singular to change

Day 12 of 30

ON ARTISTS

with all the noise the clap and scream
the pomp and circumstance of each day
the exhibition of naked dream
on pedestals built from thin mâché

with all the cheer and accolade
the crown and gown and hail as chief
just know that all the beauty made
was done with shaky disbelief

Day 11 of 30

SLEEPY
(Almost missed this one! Ahahaha! It’s been a day.)

i just want to sleep
i just want to slip
away from awake for
a while for
a hole to be filled
full of what was left
behind since this morning
sense this moment coming
on like a heaven
on a timer
sense this moment coming on
like heaven on time

Day 10 of 30

FOR MY SIBLINGS
(two of the three, though I love the baby too!)

my older sister is home from college
shows up at the door
as the tickle monster
her fingers wiggling clawing at my tender belly
typing laughter through my armpits
like a brilliant thesis
until i can’t breathe
while my older brother plugs his ears
and cuts the legs
off a new pair of guess jeans
bleaches them the day after our mother
breaks a check
so that he can avoid
fists in his gut
sucker punches and bully songs

our mother yells
sings them anyway in a broken tone
her best rendition of love
the best she could do at the time
to hold on hold on
wrap her fingers around his throat
tears trickle and tickle the
back of mine

and i wish my sister was there
and i take up for him
and he takes it out on me
and it may not come out of me
or it may later on
and later on i realize

we are a poem

a poem for real with the things
that poems need to be poems
and people need to be family

one that is strange and lovely
one that is ugly and interesting
my older sister and brother
the line and break
the rhythm and scheme
the wonders that somehow
made me letter