Saturday, April 22, 2017

This Will Be On the Test

Over a month in nothing
but rocks and sand
and shivering then
sweating, fever dreams
for people who wouldn’t
stick around and no one
came looking, it was a long trip,
people had families
and this was his thing,
training, practice
for the final: abandonment

and thirst.   

Books I Read in Highschool

I read a book with
hell as sprawl
like suburbs or
Houston expanding
like space and everyone
moved further and further away
they complained
about public transit
there were no conversations
except self-talk
arguments about neighbors
who lived out-of-sight
and I thought it was clever
and creative but
now I have coffee dates
scheduled a month in advance
with college friends
who will be moving soon to
states with reasonable
property values to
buy homes and
have kids whose names
I’ll forget with faces
seen occasionally
on screens flickering
in a dark but affordable
studio apartment that
isn’t a metaphor.

All Grown-Up

No one ever told me,
that’s a lie (probably),
but it allows some anger
to disturb the lethargy.

People were always droning
on about growing-up.
Warnings I didn’t hear.
I listened to myself, and ska.

I didn’t envision: crying bored,
staring over plain oatmeal
at ugly house-plants, hour-long
walks looping around

gentrifying neighborhoods
waiting for the sun to finish,
an early bedtime and another bowl
of oatmeal to start it again.  


David Attenborough tells me
the Sahara is expanding. There
used to be giraffes and elephants.
Red paintings now. David thumbs

through a thesaurus, desolate:
bleak, empty, forsaken, lonely,
bare. But there is life. Spiders.
A snake. Ants on stilts.

They only come out at night.
Satellite pictures. David flips
to the back, vast: immense,
expansive, massive, endless.

Wind hisses over blank dunes.
Now David tells me about climate change.
The futility of action, drying up of hope,
play lullaby as I slip into an afternoon nap.

Malaise: Jimmy Carter Was Right

A Hyundai—best in class,
used, some version of
off-white, mostly dependable
but starting to rattle.

Kraft dinner with basil
and oregano, microwaved
broccoli, and beer leftover 
from a party left early.

A beta fish named
Joe--for the gorilla,
an inside joke with
a friend who move away.

A Moleskine notebook filling 
with doodles of robots, sad 
thoughts dressed in Sunday
best, and unread reminders:

call Mom,
change oil,
book appointment
with counselor.