from a porch, i can’t help myself

waiting

pounding veins make tense my head wondering about the deeds of the undead and feeding the parts of me kept secret aside from slips in stories entertaining you when i can’t help myself, i have to share the tales of accidental youth stabbings in a seventh grade classrooms with reading rugs, where i first learned i liked looking up skirts and reading about drug addled football players with initial names and grimaces that make a pubescent boy snarl back waiting for someone to look my way with the wrong expression. ms. p. was her name, with aqua blue cotton panties bulging with a pad a few days out of the month, i thought she knew i was looking. i didn’t get the implications, frontal lobe still developing and deciding which hand i should use while gripping half grown appendages alone in a poster dressed bedroom where all wonderings cascaded before falling asleep to the hum of cds and fm radio. “jane says, i’m goin’ away to spain”, i want to go with her, explore the pavement where foreign voices are home, where i can’t breathe ecstasy air, your dim lit streets force me to remember my way to you, it’s where we started, in stinky sand pits clutching for life through mud puddle remains of those who walked the earth without having to maintain the natural flow of carbon inhaling carbon

from a porch, double shot

guided mistakes found their mission in the cast iron skillet we inherited from your cousin who couldn’t keep a job or a spouse that’d listen to what her father did that sent him to prison, a sentence too long with little punctuation in play it was the fear of going away that made him stay with her shackled to his ankle while lights out was called and she was ten thousand miles away from any luxury afforded to those who affront our notion of what it means to be decent.

i told them to shut up.

from a porch, plastic boats

drawing plastic boats with water color paints on paper meant for your goodbye letter

it’ll only mean we’re better

i set it on the kitchen counter, leftover dinner and half-washed dishes

letting go

of complete control

a shallow bowl, filled with forgotten goals

knowing soon, we’ll split our souls

sailing off, to separate-corner roles

falling into, shallow holes

tunnels dug, by emotions moles

we’ve lost our way

will we find it tomorrow?

worn out maps

we’ll borrow

to sail back

to still-water coves

to pictures i drew

when we knew

it was real

that boat on paper

came to life

i love you

came to life

from the porch, feeling the need to wonder

i miss you

every night

wondering why this break

seems necessary

escaping discipline

wandering eyes

undressing disguises

while truth waits underneath the prehistoric wings of a sycamore tree

posted thick and high, between red rock slot canyons, a graying sky, whispering afternoon breezes drop, absorbed in dark water ripples

carrying songs

changing sounds, voices compound

still water waits

pooled to welcome mornings chill

from a stool, i observed a stream and kept seeing the same thing

how does it end?

who really wants to know?

it’ll only destroy pathways where we push, pull, and grow

flip to the last page?

no idea why

purpose, a repeated ritual sky

what do we seek while meandering our way to a maintained middle

there is no finale, finally

no diner scenes

no loved characters dying in back alleys

no dimming of lights

saying goodbye

choppers heading east, there’s more pain waiting at home

seems hopeless

nothing to achieve

deal again

more cards up my sleeve

milestones, markers, bar mitzvah, nuts dropping, transformative moments to those who notice

those partaking

those affected

i write without guard rails

i write to tell our tales

i write to disguise us as one another

i write to separate pain in the egg where we developed and begged, to begin again

without an end

this can’t be it

i’m still here

holding onto a number

waiting in line

from bed, fulfilling promises

the glass almost broke but bounced

i wasn’t sloppy, clumsy

never quite knowing where my hands flip as thoughts distance me from physical realities

i’m in a chair, living through concocted histories of humans i’ve never met

nevertheless, i bumped into you, a weak grip threw, the last bits of your beer in his face

he was innocent

as much as the rest of us

making sense of collective company

i picked it up

flushed face from the sound

and regained my composure

until the next story is found

from a couch, you don’t own the alphabet or our fabric

chanting three letters

draped-cloth racism

a lot like our flag

not the one i wave

hijacked mud-flaps

which one?

bars or stripes?

nuts or calvin?

your choices, representative past

you elected to pass, on education

teachers, waited

still do

perspectives lost to echos bouncing from khaki rubbed legs, mythic walls, holy grills, torches, and white skin

freedom, runs contrary to every dim-lit corner of your mind where excuses cast shadows

everyone else?

that’s your defense?

fingers fly out of your hands

“Party of four for Responsibility. Responsibility? Party of four?”

you didn’t come to eat with us, you sat outside, glass-pressed-flat faced

taking a knee

pointing up

it’s a big difference

to you

when someone else looks down

from the same position

winter precipitation falling, you can’t handle the cold, individual geometric beauty scares you to your car

safely wrapped in AM dial voices

inside, we discuss frost, and mending walls, a question befalls us all, how tall?

never mind

it’s already built, metaphorics

you’re keeping yourself out

pounding your head to the resounding, rebounding of three letters you said

strapped to a bed, feeding the thread you used to weave a fabric of lies

disguised

as something we all share

it’s not yours

or mine

zeroes and ones hide you, from me, and me, from you

this isn’t us, a three letter chant, we can all join in, if those three letters, are understood, and i realize

you could have written this about me