Are people like this, are people like this, are people

something isn’t . . .

quite right, quite right, quite right

it doesn’t quite fit right (!)

generational mistakes

like the one his parents made

when they had sex that one night and

 

a month later when she didn’t bleed and

his mother looked at his father and

I guess I have to do this now?

her eyes asking questions

her hands rubbing her floral apron, her fingers coated in

flour, her head tipped back, the scream.

 

Are people like this, are people like him, when they

slip out in one push, so ready to make the world their own

so they fuck it up, they fuck it up,

they fuck everything,

because they think they were born

with the right to take whatever they want

as long as there’s a chance, just a

 

 

please! save me! my mother never!

my mother never . . .

 

 

 

he heard it one day

she said “I never wanted him anyways”

poor boy. poor boy. poor boy. gold hair. sad lips.

girls used to say to him, behind his back, around the corner, in notes folded up

like footballs, left in lockers

I think I can fix him.

I think I can fix him.

the words were said so many times that they made a coat

and he put the coat on

and he liked to laugh when he wore the coat

that the girls had made him.

 

 

Now that one thing his mother said walks

with it’s own feet, it’s own hands, it’s own dick

and he uses it like his own!

that thing his mother said, he is that, the thing

his mother said . . .

and he pours his milk into a cup

and he eats his cereal with his hands

because something about him will never be

quite right (!)

 

people are like this

people are like this

 

when they know their parents didn’t want them

when they see the sadness in their mothers eyes

when they separate their spirit from their body

and use their skin like an excuse to say they’re really alive.

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The other day I was on the bus and I began to wonder what the world would be like if I was everyone and everyone else were me.

The bus stops. I stumble. I grab the rubber hand grip. The bus moves on.

I mean, I don’t want the whole world to be just like me, but what if our similarities are more than our differences? What if my worries, fears, concerns, self-doubt, self-contained excitement, hop-skip-and-a-jump glee is the exact same as that guy over there? What if my mind, literally my mind, my soul of souls, is in every single brain in the bus?

What if that guy over there is worrying about impressing his boss, just like I am? What if that girl in the priority seating broke her ankle because when I tripped the other day, she’s the version of me that fell?

Everything stops. Everything rotates. It spins and it spins and I hold onto the rubber hand grip again. What if I am everyone and everyone is me. What if we are all the same.

I want to reach out and say hello. I want to tell them it’s going to be okay. I want to look someone in the eyes. But they’re all looking down.

Just the same as me.

I woke up at 2am and googled acid reflux

because it felt, I guess, like my stomach

was eating itself alive looking for some comfort.

so,

I googled anxiety.

But I guess I already knew.

Sometimes the walls close in like a trash compactor

but it just crunches up all my good thoughts

eats away at my better senses.

I clicked off my phone and a scream came from

the street, you know

the kind of a scream that never lends itself

to sidewalks.

Why aren’t we all in the streets, screaming, clawing

digging at ourselves

oh,

the church bell rings.

I. I think about

My dad without her

Her voice. Still here.

II. Children adrift in history

screaming in the hallways

while we stare into space

and wonder how they got there.

III. We make snowball cookies

white sugar floating to the kitchen floor.

IV: The phone rings and we know

it couldn’t be anyone we want to talk to.

I want to adopt the saddest, fattest, laziest, most unwanted, patchy, squeaky meowed, elderly, potentially diabetic cat you have ever seen.

I would call it Maury.

Maury sits in the window all day on his cushion thinking about the lives he used to have. Alice who fed him kibble. Charice who liked to dance to Beyonce in the shower. And the kid with no name who gave him a sad pat in the alleyway where I’d find him two days later.

Maury feels lucky for his cushion. Sometimes he thinks about pulling a paw out from beneath his belly to swat at a moth that wanders past, but he changes his mind. The moth makes its uncoordinated trip back to the corner of the blinds.

At the end of the evening we come home and Maury glances upwards at the sound of the keys jingling in the door. He looks down before we can see how much he cares that we’re home. Maury knows that love is a risky game so he shows us affection sparingly to keep us interested.

After dinner is made Maury rolls onto his back and gives a little mew. I drop some salmon skin in his mouth and he gives an accepting nod.