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Today I found myself confusing shards of glass
for crystals of sugar on the subway floor.
Like I used to imagine Loch Ness from the oil slicks
in the canal behind the Red Lobster I lived near as a kid
Those days I was scared of the dark. Afraid of what my brain could make of shadows.
Socks became little shops of horror
Rick Moranis a victim of bad circumstance dancing with the skeletons in my closet.

Monsters change. I've called them many names
Not the least of which, my own
Two days after surgery I ran my fingers across lollipop scars
and thought myself unlovable
Only feeling whole when parts of me fell in shadows
Feeling it necessary to forever fuck in the dark.

I don't feel that way anymore. The Monsters change form.
It's not the ghosts of the dead it's the fists of living and what they're aiming for
Well, maybe not their aim but what they insinuate.
Sticks and stones break bones and fists make statistics
and I'm only cautiously optimistic.
There are hearses filled with self abusers
I relive my own adolescence and concentrate on my improvements.

There's a yellow song of mercy in the exquisite agony of aging
I'm half rage each journal page tuning.
In the headlines of newspapers I'm learning
that memories are merely misinformed warnings

13-year-old Darius Simmons was shot in the chest by his old ass white neighbor.
In front of his mailbox.
In front of his mother.
On the front page, there are stories of 7-year-olds in nooses.
There was Trayvon then 28 others.
It was three months and over two dozen unarmed black men and that's a fucking awakening.
This poem is a breathy tourniquet of apology for men who could confuse themselves in the mirror for my own reflection

The monsters change
it takes a delusional brain.
It takes ceasing being scared of the dark.

There are teens in suburbs sleeping in their sneakers
Dreaming of outrunning their demons
Their footsteps metronomes.
Ticking clocks of belief.
So this I have to believe
That hallucinations of half-full cups will eventually become a reality


from Heartstrings and Hamstrings, released January 22, 2013



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