salient

I listen.

It’s my job not to pay attention, but I listen.
I like to hear them laugh
and enjoy each other.
I love their stories and their snores through
a well-earned nap.

I like to hear their families say,
“Jacob turns eight this year.”
Actually,
that’s Carl you’re thinking of,
but that’s okay.

I weep inside for
their breakup’s, their hard times,
their mom’s sick.
They piece my heart back together
when they ask their
other
if they’ve eaten. They called
just to ask that and if
they could pick anything up.

IDKWNTHT, but,

Do you ever wonder,
in a million voices
screaming at you;
hey,
why am I such a loser
piece of garbage?
And you know,
you know,
it’s coming from somewhere -
past, present,
whatever.
Then you realize, 
it’s just one voice:
it’s just yours. 
Even as you write
you know
you know
you can never share this
because relatable trauma only,
please.

Tri Cyclic

I did nothing
but watch
helpless
as the young
of my generation,
the gifted
and beautiful,
trapped themselves
in the same 
dead ends 
we hated the old
for wasting their
lives on.

I’m sorry. 

Rubber

I would have rather walked. Despite the early spring chill, I longed for a refreshing hike.

I parked, feeling the tires’ dread an inch from a small grit burn. They needn’t have gone through this existential horror except that I had so many quarters to rid myself of. 

Standing at the roadside, the long–necked animal swallowed my change. It ate eagerly, one by one, and in turn showed all that I was an honest person with no proclivity for petty crime. 

I waited for the meter to down the last coin with a metallic gulp. After it squawked happily, I climbed back behind the wheel and drove home so I could take the walk I desired instead.

Filthy

Leave your scrap.

I am the excrement of the world. 
I crawl to the edge of the trash pile,
salt it with earth
and devour. 

Leave your disgust.

I am the crazy you loathe
and the strange you fear.
I sing platitudes 
like a skipped record, 
scratching the cliff holds for dear life.

Lay me in the dirt.

I suffocate there 
thousands of years
watching the strata pass.

Cast me your stones

and throw me in the pit. 
Belabor your glorious effort
at my humble expense. 
If all else fails, 

burn the witch. 

Tripping

Where wild ones play.
In a jungle of laughing and longing.
Built over time
on overgrown mossy ground.
Filled with a soundtrack
of cackles in the dark. 
Strange and unrecognizable to them.
Though very much alone. 
Sounds to which 
they've kissed goodbye
all night long. 
Until trees fall and flowers wilt.
All noise fades. 
A cold, bare apartment
called home.
Never to see each other again.
So it feels.
Something she would call dramatic. 
To say the least.
Sometimes the most
better left unsaid.