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fog pressed to a window pane

i’ve spent my life

thinking about people

who were not there

those whose love

came measured

in teaspoons

hidden in poems

please know

i didn’t write this for you

&

i’m taking my coffee black

this morning

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save everything you can

the house is a total loss

horses screaming caught

in my hair

choking ash

simmering iron

bits of

our children crying in the truck

the dogs are missing

barn roof’s fully engulfed

rafter pine pops

we run to claw open stall doors

as this year becomes a list

of things we lost in the fire

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perfunctory

we go through the motions

nods, hellos, & how are yous

eyes casting down not to impose

swallowed back into a mask that is saving humanity

but depriving us of dimples

a curl at the corner of a wink and a smile

warm creases telling jokes

knowing microexpressions

laugh lines

that dopamine rush of connectivity

that reminds us why

we fight to stay alive

what it is to be human

remember to look up

into my eyes

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left it standing

my fears are hidden at home in my onion knife

as I drink coffee that tastes like David Mamet

left it standing

downtown on a Tuesday morning

during a plague

somehow that proves

there are things I don’t regret

while we pretend to have enough choices left

the way a crumbling sidewalk shows us

dandelions will continue to grow

on the strength of their convictions

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don’t you dare leave this godforsaken party without me

you wield the power

to piss me off like a teenager

even though most of my life has been

a series of photographs without you

where I’m pictured waiting to stop smiling

just as a neighbor’s car explodes outside

so when you walk into a party

grab my arm

& pull me off to the patio of congressional smokers

where sacred things are whispered between drags

be ready to explain why the music got louder

as we stepped through the door &

the poem you wrote into the shape of a gun

fired on my heart at point blank range

please understand

we’ve skipped over the part when

you get to offer me tea

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art poetry sociology Uncategorized writing

correct change

to quantify what 189,00 dead Americans

equates to within the psyche of this country

we must apply the correct math

due to lack of competent leadership within the White House

the COVID19 pandemic has been allowed to spread

across schools to cemeteries

into three Vietnams

or sixty-three

September the 11ths

Donald Trump should be made to place coins

from his own pocket

over the eyes of every corpse

he could have prevented &

perhaps the saddest notion is

even if the great king

cared to part with his shekels

our country will still be left

more bankrupt

from his mistakes

than him

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That’s my kid up there!

I’ve adopted

a son at work

who still lives at home

in my cubicle.

He has a shock of dark hair

that follows him like a storm cloud.

He teaches music.

He plays in a coupla bands.

He’s a good dad.

He borrows my nail polish

& asks me to braid

the nimbus of his hair.

He’s a badass rocker.

He has that ancient magic,

voodoo child guitarist,

maestro.

But the day he said

you’ve been a better mom to me

than my own,

because I offered to mail an envelope…

he became mine.

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pretty little things

there’s a girl downtown

gets passed around

she’s early twenties

but plays smaller

she hallucinates snakes

as demons prey on her

there’s a girl downtown

she walks around

bare from the waist down

hacks at her own hair

is fond of defecating on sidewalks

but the winos and scum

buy her pretty little things

so they don’t feel guilty

after

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water into wine

there are nights

I don’t give a damn

if Elvis ever sang anything

but Kentucky Rain

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goes without saying

 

i will never show anyone

what’s hiding

in this line of poetry

least of all you

who need not read it

as you stand wishing you had something to smoke

on the back porch

of my existence