9/15 poem

Django, part one

They say it is unrealistic
how quickly and easily
you learned how to wield
a gun, but do they know
how long you have waited
for that cold metal to meet
your hands, how many fore-
heads your eyes bore holes
into, how your trigger finger
twitched in your pocket until
branding a welt into your own


8/15 poem

A Serial Killer Writes a Motivational Letter to An Activist

I’m writing this in the basement of an undisclosed apartment
in fill-in-the-blank-city, Georgia. It’s 11:17 pm. In the morning,
the envelope will be delivered to a mailbox on the other end
of town while my hands are covered in latex gloves. Before
leaving, I’ll have showered for forty minutes, removing every
traceable scent from my body.

From the outside, one may argue that when choosing
your next victim, it shouldn’t matter where they are, that you’re
still a human killing another human but that’s why that person
is a professor. Or a mail man.
That person may believe there is no difference whether you kill someone
in the North or the Southwest, that tears in the eyes are always
made of salt, that there is no subtle shift in the flavor of blood.
But you get it. You know the distinct taste of a community’s DNA.
Would you really enter Boston with the same smile as San Jose?

You may wonder why I care about you. I don’t.
But I fuckin love seals.

Hey. I’ve been watching you, and it hurts. I have seen your eyes
on the television screen, wilting under the light of the news camera.
That sign you carried was starting to sink down. You gave someone
else the megaphone. I’m writing this to tell you: I know.
There is a point where the killing loses its spark. It stops lifting
your body out of bed. All you’ve been doing is eliminating everything
and everyone that drove your parents to their graves. With every House
bill you’ve petitioned into dust, with every wrongfully convicted
soul for whom you’ve wedged open the bars, you realize you’ve
barely changed a thing. It’s like this planet doesn’t breathe unless
something’s starving to death.

I told you I’m writing you this letter in the basement of an undisclosed
apartment in Georgia. This is true except
that this apartment doesn’t have a basement and it’s not in Georgia.
What I’m saying is that I haven’t gotten so tired that
I’ve started getting sloppy. You’re screwing up. You’re forgetting crucial
volunteer phone calls. You’re misspelling protest signs, and not
in an ironic fashion.  Your email keeps getting hacked because
your password is a combination of your birthday
and your prom date’s middle name. How uncreative can you be?
You didn’t wipe away your tears before they cuffed your wrists.
You dropped your sunglasses before they sprayed
your eyes.

You’re fading. You’re betraying your scent to the
wolves. When you make them this hungry, friend, what did you
think they would do?

I’m writing you this letter about two blocks from your parents’
house. Stop hogging your mom’s lasagna.

My point is, keep them guessing. My point is, don’t let yourself give up.
I’m watching you, killer.
This hunger is all we’ve got.

7/15 poem

Welcome to Taco Bell, how are you?
I LOVE you!
What would you like?
For you to know how brilliant and beautiful you are, you gifted and precious human being!
Is there something on the menu you would like to order?
I’d like a burrito supreme flavored with your most recent tears of joy!
A burrito supreme, anything else with that?
I’d also like the cantina steak bowl held by a pair of hands that have given themselves to such holy work as greeting a thousand strangers a day, loving their souls through a microphone while they stare at a menu as if they could want anything more than to know that you were blessed enough to wake up this morning, good God you are beautiful, and very soon I will know it when I pull around to pay at your window.
A burrito supreme, a cantina steak bowl, and anything else?
Bless your midnight.
Any sauce?
May your dreams be kissed by God.
That’ll be $7.96 at the window.  Please pull ahead.
Thank you, my heart is speeding, this basket of stones, my dark breaking heart—

6/15 Poem

Nerve Endings

Awaken the paper cut.
Awaken the burst of boil from the kitchen pot.
The wet nose and hot breath of dog.
The sting of flu shot needle.

The piercing thud of coffee table into fibula.
The slapped face, the momentary beehive.
The negative wind chill greeting the neck at the door.

Awaken the tickle of tear down cheek.
The holler of torn thumbnail.
The shudder up the back.
The rising hair.

The tongue drawing a path up the chest.
The tongue digging below the hips.
The tongue vibrating to the hum of the larynx.
The larynx opening to transmit signals shouting
from everywhere in the body.

Awaken the cool from the ceiling fan.
The swallow of sun through bedroom glass.

The aftershock of ecstasy, the slowing beat,
the simmered blood. The fingertip tracing the scar.

5/15 Poem

Apology to the Piano

I could have been your servant and master.
But the time it would have taken,

what I would have had to give up,
that list carries names that would

shatter me with their absence. I would have
been a thirty-year-old piano master oblivious

of why he was rotting in his bones. There are
those who’ve no idea how easily they could

have ended me, had they never taught my tongue
to absorb their names.

4/15 Poem

Ororo Shares a Moment With Herself

In the morning, they’ll be in the air.
Invisible, untraceable, lost to all
but themselves. Tonight she is in bed.
Gripping her top sheet. Biting her pillow.
She does not think of Charles, rising
from his wheelchair for a brush of her flesh.
Scott Summers does not slip from Jean’s
sleeping arms to sweat into Ororo’s thighs.
Her fingers are not lightning. Her breath is
not wind. She is alone. She makes alone so
good. She shudders to no one’s skill but her own.
This, she thinks, is blackness.
This, what blues her eyes.

3/15 poem

Gunmen Rape 6 Tourists Near Acapulco, Mexico

Acapulco Mayor Luis Walton condemned the attack during a Tuesday news conference and vowed to apprehend those responsible as world attention homed in on Pacific port city.
He called it regrettable, apologized for the gunmen’s attack and said it would probably affect the image of Acapulco, which derives much of its revenue from tourism.
“We know that it’s very unfortunate what has happened, but it happens anywhere in the world,” said Walton.
                                     –quoted from an article on cnn.com

Here, where the sun licks your skin
with the sweet scent of enter,

where the ocean waters tongue your toes
in a lullaby of salt,

where anyone can arrive in Mexico
and forget they are in Mexico,

here. You are welcome. Yes,
we have room for you. Come.

And we promise, when the shaking
in your shower has ended,

when the memory of guns and men
and laughter is finished,

please, speak to them of the water,
the rippled and succulent blue,

yes. They will imagine the faces,
all of the accents and shades of skin,

cada par de ojos en quien uno podía caída.
Nuestro fastuoso, nuestro bendijo cornucopia.