(under)lying

poetry

this class is boring as shit
i am bored
i am bored
i am bored–
i cannot understand this
i cannot do this
and i am sick of trying

i gave up long ago

in elementary school
when i had to read aloud
i stumbled over words
like tree roots in the dark
the other kids laughed
called me dumb
so i stopped reading aloud
i stopped reading
i felt ashamed and i did not want to feel
ashamed

i hated that feeling
that same feeling when
i brought home my first Fs on my report card
and my mom yelled at me
why you so dumb?
why you lazy as shit?

it was easier to give up
than to keep trying
and keep failing
and keep feeling ashamed

i started to pretend like i didn’t care
like i wasn’t trying
it was just so much easier–
but i haven’t, really,
stopped caring
it still stings when i’m handed a book
i know i can’t understand
when my mom comes home
from parent-teacher conferences
and looks at me
like she wishes she had a different son.

To Be Half

poetry

I. Thoughts

I imagine your [           ] on the other side of the world
how the [                       ] softly against skin as you [            ]
seashell seaweed jetsam-peppered sand
[                           ] so as not to break skin
You: contemplating [                      ]
carefully selecting one suitable for sitting, then: [            ]
now: drawing legs up [                   ] them with arms
a socially acceptable [                ]

II. The time apart

:as death
:slowly disappearing
:is another place of absence
:although it is inevitable that
:will forget me
:as close to the end as possible
:freckled
:meant for me.

III. The Shore

I imagine your life on the other side of the world                 :as death
how the sunlight presses softly against skin as you walk :slowly disappearing
seashell seaweed jetsam-peppered sand                                :is another place of absence
stepping softly so as not to break skin                                    :although it is inevitable that
You: contemplating shoreline stones                                      :will forget me
carefully selecting one suitable for sitting, then: sitting    :as close to the end as possible
now: drawing legs up encircling them with arms               :freckled
a socially acceptable self-hug                                                   :meant for me.

The Frozen Mud

poetry

I saw at my foot footprints, en-
cased in muted mud, mid-step mire set silently within
A topography of time, a grey ground frozen
The echoes of shoes–seemingly size ten–a lasting last impression
A patch work of paw prints, wildly weaves widely again and again
The bike tire’s vast, violent arc cuts with impatient determination
Across orphan patches of untouched earth. My eyes enliven
This sculpted ground–shadows casting imagination!

Marvelous movements of time and space, run, ride, reel, and hark!
See the life that lives on lunar land: when you think
the play’s performed, this spectral stage stirs the heart!

This makes me wonder: what traces of invisible ink
You left upon the blue-blank pages of that air afar;
And should I see could I read or would I–sink?

AT LAST WINTER’S PASSED

poetry

at last winter’s passed, the sleepers awake
at last squirrels, birds, green emerge
blossoms on branches, rivers run fast and high
movement in the bones, music in the eyes

at last there is skin, bare arms bare legs bare feet
at last black blonde brown hair falls free, words spit quick unseen
people step off the sidewalk, swim in the warm grass
the city has emptied, its concrete gravity gone

I smell life, how I long to live
I smell sky, it screams of coasts
I smell sun, we fill our lungs with light
ready to exhale and create new continents

darkness lost as last year’s dream
all is open, outstretched and inviting
like a frisbee, carried by a strong breeze,
we disappear over the horizon.