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You snaked your way into my life,
You can slither yourself out.
I'm not always this righteous, but when I am, *******.
There’s a certain disharmony in the way of things,
and how it turns humans into monsters. I saw a monster turn a girl
into a woman with her clothes on the floor,

and he carved ‘liar’ on her chapped lips. I reached out when
she stood before me, holding a razor in one hand and whiskey
in the other. She had dashed lines on her wrists

and shattered glass at her feet. I feel like screaming, but my gums bleed
from a mouth full of broken metal wire.
I cannot tell you the story that sits on my shoulders like a child,
too young to understand the weight of himself.

Now my eyelids have been peeled from my face and
I cannot look away from the girl when she comes home after school
and asks me for help with her homework
because the least I can do is solve a few math problems.
This poem contains a trigger warning for self-harm and ****, which I have tagged as well.
I sit at a two-top by myself
by the bar. I draw on the back
of a bill with a cheap pen I found
clicked in a foam cup upstairs.
I draw flat cars, flat poles,
flat humans. I give them swirl
hair and no fists.
They are all alike.
The bartender comes over and tells
me that the bar is closed. I hold
my left hand up to him and draw
the sky. I fill it with carbon pink stars
and coffee nebulae. Saturn's rings
are made of cornbread crumbs.

I blow a straw paper comet across the galaxy.
I felt like my poems were becoming too much, syllable-wise, so I wrote this [mostly] mono-syllabic poem. I really dig it.
Father Christmas came and slipped
through the cracks
of my poorly constructed home
so quickly
and quietly
that I hardly marked the date.

I suppose it's my fault
for spending so much time
listening to angsty
drums and guitars
scream my name
that I can no longer hear
his voice in the tear
of wrapping paper
and Mr. Crosby's tunes.

But I caught a glimpse,
between the blinking
of red and white
on my tree,
when my mother smiled
as I opened my new suede shoes.

He's out there, hiding,
that *******:
old man Christmas.
Hiding and trying
to make me change,
make me surrender
my joy to the jaded
state of adulthood.

I will not.
A score ago I was born anew
Bright and untarnished
Tightly wound and certain.
Well family tries
And some settle to half-achieved dreams,
Fulfilled and furbished
While others are lost –
Unfurled in guilty pleasures
And tangled in thoughts of better things.
I need to be released
From this wood-walled prison
Of black walnut and self-inflicted doubt
Which haunts like closed doors
And compresses with relentless pressure.
I am a spool unraveled
In an antique Singer machine drawer
Long forgotten and unkempt –
Built to hold but prone to breaking.
Silver tweed-threaded silk
Faded gray through a pigeon hole
And lost amongst my brothers.
I long to recoil in sweet harmony
Of crimson and gold memories,
Where happiness flits
Like a cardinal on cedar in winter
Bright and striking and secure
Confident in an unruly storm –
Warm and rich against the cold.
Well my Soul came back to me
In the gentle tap-tap keys
Of a 1958 Royal Standard,
Smooth-dipped and powder-blue-painted
With an olive case worn at the edges
From being touched by the fingertips
Of pained poets and weary travelers.
There’s a beauty in the black noir made colorful
By resplendent dreams and truth made real
And the principle of gentle permanence
And not-so-fragile finality
Of flaws made perfect by being
Simply and utterly themselves.
A rough draft of something that came to me honestly, freely, and without hesitation. Good lord, I love writing.
Write everyday.
Write everyday no matter what.
Write even at a loss for words.
Write down the sounds.

I make notes of the plane crashes
I've never heard, the brook trout
that never shook pond water
onto the brittle grass when I didn't
catch it, or the thunder cup coil
I keep kneeing trying to give the overcast
over the mountain something to compete

And I'm not sorry.
       I'm not.      I'm not sorry that my
reborn Christian best    friend    has   seen the    light,
and I still scoff when people pray over potatoes.
And I only believe in plastic Polaroid postcards
from last decade timestamped in the white space
with Bic black ink.
I'm not sorry for that.

And truth is, I've never washed this black shirt;
just hung it hoping that moths' would ****
the sweat spots and leave
the fabric.

I clenched the gold cap beneath
my ring finger from the glass green
bottle occupying my lips driving
down the Marsh Creek bridge.
I wanted to relate / to be relatable /
relative to the sedans, and seatbelts
too tight to breathe, passing me.

At the end of the bridge, where there was no chance
of drowning and the road color changed, I parked
in the driveway of a wooden house. Its blinds
were up, shades pulled apart with two hands
like gas station freezer doors, leaving them
vulnerable to the hiss of semi truck tractor
trailer high beams slicing through fifty +
raindrops per second going a few miles shy
of sixty-five, yet the people inside moved so freely.
I  sat Indian-style—a term I learned at four
then learned it to be racist at fourteen—
in their driveway, and ate the gravel
they walked on trying to taste security
because all I'd had in the last few hours
were plates of refried fear.

Fear of audit, of my teeth breaking off,
and of ending up like Eric Garner
when I heard that wailing
Voice of Justice
coming for me in the distance.
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