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I've never dated a girl with green eyes,
Mine always had brown

I like how tender
the whites of their eyes stand
against the pigment

But the more I look at them
the harder it is
to get away from myself
highly recommended, highly nutritional, highly idealized, highly regarded, highly aware that my skin should be as tender as Jesus, a concoction of milkweed and baby's breathe, highly worthy of a man, high volume, high capacity, highly considering the recipes from God's kitchen, the smell of ***** and peppermint, highly bronzed and beautifully sick.
I was sitting near the window in my high school's English classroom that morning. Among the dim glow of Dollar Tree string lights and the smell of pine. Incandescent hysteria turned every red ornament and poinsettia life threatening. “He murdered 26 people, including 20 children, between the ages of six and seven years old.”

My classmate bought a firearm that Christmas. It took exactly 10 days to forget about what helped cause the tragedy. Born into bullets and desensitized: "I keep my guns locked up."

And those words changed everything.
Those words kept safe high schools, colleges, festivals, a nightclub, a navy yard, a Charleston church, a Texas church, a movie theater and so many other terrors that could have made the news,
but didn't because of those words.

They are everywhere; I see them in every butterfly inkblot, umbrella and ******* figure. Guns penetrate and permeate our culture,
and we are all caught in the crossfire until the smoke clears.
peeling wallpaper
2. unembossed boarskin
3. sunburnt mahogany
4. sequin firewood
5. bible page bark
6. chocolate tendrils
7. exfoliating exoskeleton
8. bleached crimson
9. acid wash chestnut
10. sycamore's elbow
As the intimately familiar screech
of an emergency alert is issued, a displaced

plastic bottle streams along the flooded sidewalk.
Sudan still does not have sustainable water.

The mouths of widowed women and bludgeoned children
run dry. Darfur is a skeleton.

The death of the last male northern white rhino,
named Sudan, receives more coverage than the genocide.

In 2016, a photographer
received award from the World Press contest

for capturing seven-year-old Adam Abdel’s extensive burns
After his own government bombed his village,

Adam received displacement.
My bones are a fine charcoal
marrow and expensive ink
Cracked enamel and paint
slowly  staining my mother’s sink
from "Black Bones" collection
I don’t want to watch the wallpaper yellow.
The floral patterns cause vertigo,
while the hallways whisper
gospel sounds
and talk of gelatin for dessert.

I’m afraid that when I fall for another man,
he will have a shearling wheelchair.
he will be a caregiver
raising the crooked footrest.

There won’t be quinoa substitute
or aperitif.
My meals will likely be
a glass of sulfur water and
mixed vegetables dressed in gravy.

Derived from a cheap grocery list
where my name is written
In between “milk” and “flour”
Because I was not remembered.
from "Evenings In Jackson Heights"
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