Day Seven: ‘Human American’

April 7, 2013

I am not sorry for my deep resentment

nor for the rage that lingers past last call

when the hunched mustache whistles us to scram.

Living on diner breakfasts and charcoal,

I assume the bodies of the innocent,

take shape of children rolling from brownstone

to prep school to city highrise to bed,

cough with the smokers bickering outside the hospital.

I live in tiny filth but long for purity.


In the wet mop

lies the largest secret.

In the crumbling tentacles of the

mop gray as old maid hair

resides the breath of struggle,

like when I close my eyes to imagine the train

rushing air across my face is really ocean swing,

me genuflecting at the blue of Patmos,

one day planting my feet as mingling seeds.


The city is the land of colored jackets,

stark dreamcoats of a world within a word.

One syllable erupts with light. Bright. Lucid.

To the folks back north, I wear a home of neon

and perpetual glee — scores removed from the cracked

pavement that offers itself as shelter

and flat decor. Blood engines powering,

decay rampant as breathing, bold in each

dark crater puddling.


Life ends before death,

before the tubes and blinking machines.

Life quits on you

as withering household plants,

first wilting then drying then finally dropping

as a boxer in the fifth, a madman high

on a ledge, a flattened score. Some will

enjoy the colors of the coats. I lip

and sneer, salting the earth with quiet sin.


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