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ATM

They

will sell you

candy cigarettes,

insulin,

Camel Wides,

chemotherapy,

God,

nicotine patches,

life insurance,

and a bronze casket

all

in one lifetime.

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Americana Art cemeteries childhood comfort death divinity family festivities history humanity mourning muse nature poetry pop culture punk Southern Gothic

such willful animals

in death

our ribs remain skyward

like hands

cast to heaven

in prayer

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Are you free?

meet me in Tompkins Square

the Temperance Fountain

at noon

March 2, 2029

there’s a place I want to show you on the lower east side

of a dumpster

before we die

we’ll find a restaurant

on W 23rd Street

named for a playwright

ride the subway to Lincoln Center

feed the last of our excuses

to wanton pigeons

lose ourselves

underground

adding a single entry

for everything we never shared

to the archive

oh, did I mention

it’s a Friday

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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.