Thursday, July 31, 2014

Week 38

Hurt people hurt people

I remind myself of this as I watch you on the sun porch,
your belly swollen with potential and your forehead
pushing in toward itself
Each word you spit designed to slice me up, designed
by you and by some other, some other
who designed you
Serene, I say nothing to your tirade; I let it hit me,
and part around me, a great wind blasted at a pillar
of rock; your barbs are blunted
I see what they are, little pebbles of hate

and I remember the times I have
hated, the times we sat
on the sun porch and held sweating glasses of iced tea
Every word I have spat
when my helpless arms grasped
at nothing and my insides were stolen
Some people worry for the child in you but
I have faith

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


The heat makes everything more real:
the sweats are sweatier today;
the stark dark hairs are hairier,
the fats more lipid, more opaque,

and through leftover water drops,
the seeing sun steams oil from us:
humanity is raised at last,
a rich exchange to swap for sun.

The sweat, the hair, the fat, the waste—
and age beats down like summer heat,
the sun made redder by the breaths
of human thousands, damp beneath.

I turn my face against my sleeve
and breathe the smoke my sleeve has caught,
which we were given lives ago
in sharp defiance of the gods.


I see you, sometimes, in a face,
in young men hurrying with tasks
or pushing through the crowd in pairs,
too vivid for me and too fast.

You dart across their irises
and through the muscles of their cheeks;
I hear you echo when they laugh,
ineptly hidden, out of reach.

How many of us have you passed
without a touch, without a word?
We’ll never find out what it’s like
to be these men, intense, secure—

but even they can’t see the homes
you build and vacate in their eyes:
we never know about ourselves
until you’ve left us way behind.

Friday, July 25, 2014

I'm not a liar

Every word of truth was spoken
by my hands as they pushed the window open,
as they pushed the window shut;
every sincerity pulsed pain
behind my eyes, tensed
in my forehead.
If you can't read what is written,
if you can't hear what is declaimed,
come into the amphitheater through any
of its many doors,
and learn another language, one spoken
under the breath, one written
in the tiny spaces between each word,
where there is little room for the cut-out tongue
to sing.