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Michael Apr 2015
She said the Guatemalan women
had a trick for situations just like this.
A variation on a familiar tune of
slow and steady wins the race:
Just take small-calculated steps,
don’t exert too much force,
and when you finally reach the end
it’s like the journey was a godsend –

but I rise helium heavy, each step
an angular insult to my weight.
This modern pilgrimage of bottled water
and Doritos, clothes marred by tide and decay.
Otis, I pray that you’ll hold me once again
I’m not made of hearty peasant stock
My hills are made of concrete and
I order Seamless ‘round the clock.
Michael Apr 2015
It’s just made to look like one,
to follow your preconceived notions
of what a poem should be and do

This isn’t a poem and I’m not a poet,
I wish I could **** with a stanza
flashes of lexicon that burn right through

If this were truly a poem, and not pretend,
not even your marrow would survive
but these are just a few words I spewed

Waiting for the Mexican lady to finish
folding my shirts and boxers into neat piles
while I scroll past titles in my Netflix queue
draft
Michael Apr 2015
When I burst forth,
you held your breath,
and ever since
there’s been nothing left
but unmoving air.

A stale uneasiness.
Michael Apr 2015
The CD in the tray
and the sun on my skin
hot vinyl beneath me
and an unstoppable wind.

This is one of the few days
I try to remember.

I cling to it like the Newports
between your fingers,
ashes settling on the dashboard.

But after all that happened
with the roof off
the memory is hard to hold.
Yet, I wrap myself up in it.

Tie myself inside
the days when I felt your
hair hit me in the face and
I’d see the ocean stretch
on one side,
past the endless median
on the other

When I knew
that love rolled on wheels.
Michael Apr 2015
For my brother, it meant everything
to stretch out and press
his face against the pane
of candy stretched crystalline.

To take the path away from father
for me one step away from
step-mother,
baking our dreams into
crumbs we left on the floor.

We’ll trace them back
to the place between
lost and found,
once we’ve fulfilled
our parts,
he’d always tell me.

But he doesn’t understand,
and honestly when does he,
that we’ve been doomed
from the start.

There is no Gretel,
to stoke the logs,
close the grate and latch
no heroine to fit the story’s need
there's only me

So when the witch comes back
she’ll ask
has Hansel truly grown fat?
a little pinch of the skin
an inadvertent test to see
which one of us should win?

It’s always an offering
always a suffering
always a surrender
of what makes me, she
and Hansel truly him

But I don’t mind
filling this role
I know it’s what I was made for
half baked like the crumbs
in a crummy oven
the real Gretel’s long gone
so her understudy will do.
If Mother could bake one daughter
why not try to bake two?

The witch will say it’s time
and ask me to reach back far
to find a warmth she can't see
it’s really not that odd
to hear the words escape me:
"why don't you try,
it's utterly exhausting
always having to hide"
and besides
I always desperately wanted
someone to show me

And I’ll even smile
as the crackle burns for just awhile
Hansel holding my hand
my pigtails askew.

The crumbs, our true
parents,
eaten in the leaves.
Michael Apr 2015
Uttered wishes don’t come true.
There’s a breach of contract
in the act of saying what you want.

It’s the reason we’ve never reached world peace.
Every pageant queen sliding it out
between clenched white teeth, ruining the
surprise before she blows out the candle.

We’ve mined out wishes from the earth
and put them out on display;
dioramas marked
“a wish for a better tomorrow”
Mason jars full of eyelashes
just longing to be blown
to the wind, dandelion free.

How can we ever expect anything
but the decay of our future?

It’s all boiled down to this singular wish –
a sideways stare at this candlestick,
and no matter how nimble,
no matter how quick,
whatever we think before the blow,
won’t change what we know about tomorrow.

Once we make a wish,
There’s no more room for light.
Michael Apr 2015
I sometimes wonder why it is we’re forced
to close our eyes right after *******

to fall into bed with the cease
of all that has just occurred

your kiss put me here
instead of waking

and heavy lidded I struggled
with the snare of all these sheets

but I really shouldn’t be surprised
at the moment I closed my eyes I knew

you were a walking contradiction
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