With angles jagged, bits of ceramic protrusionsstarkly contrasting with the linoleum floor,
its remnants scattered confusedly about,
mingled with shards of shining glass
that reflect the sunlight as it glares
down, its golden force enough
to unsettle an immovable
object, for isn’t the sun
an irresistible force?
Having settled on
for years on end,
housing the flowers
that had woefully keeled
due to the harsh sun that refused
to reduce the passion with which it burned,
due to the sorry paucity of sustenance, of respite
from stifling days whose ardor never cooled, due to an
unfathomable weakness that had never existed before, did
the flowers drop from the pride of an incomparable beauty, to
the misery of loneliness, whose only comfort was the lone ceramic
vase whose cracks widened with each elapsing hour, courtesy of the
overwhelming heat, whose ardor never deigned to cool, whose rays
forced grace to stoop to inelegance, which compelled the formerly
vibrant stalks to yellow and crumble, also obliging the once purple
petals to wither, to droop sadly to the side, upsetting the precious,
the delicate balance of the plants, letting the vase tip one day,
precariously, to the right, sending it hurtling, streaking to the
linoleum floor, ending in a deafening shatter of ceramic
against the unyielding, beige flooring, then creating
absolute chaos from tranquility, unsightliness
from past beauty, violent pink fragments
from a united piece of ceramic craft,
whose denizens lay dispersed
amid the wreck of skill,
which was provoked
by the glowing sun
Black bodies seep through our T.V. screens and into the living room.We don’t notice at first.
We’re outside, watching the heat from the Barbeque quiver.
But the gunfire from the screen drifts to the patio,
over the Azalea’s—a fleshy pink like my sister’s cheeks after too much Sangria—
and lingers by my mother.
“Turn that crap off.”
But the clink of Pellegrino and polite laughter.
“How many acts of genocide does it take to make genocide?”
We don’t think about it.
But there is a man who does.
He’s a father,
the kind who feels like rusty button downs and lose jowls—maybe a couple smile lines—
But he leaves his son,
and he leaves his wife,
and he leaves his Barbeque
to aid the forgotten ones
to save bodies nobody cares about –
disposable and black, like the clip on earrings Grandma wore to Grandpa’s funeral twelve years ago.
And he wraps a string around his heart
and seeps it in their pain
drinks atrocity like tea
and fills up on rage.
“WHY DOESN’T ANYBODY CARE
HOW COULD YOU LOOK AWAY”
He’s seen crimson swallow streets
and war swallow bodies
and machetes take ladies for lovers.
He’s a doctor,
the kind who reeks of impartial and feigned condolences—maybe a stern handshake—
But when he saw designs carved into her body and cum slathered on her face
He felt something,
Perhaps despair, but not so deep he could crumble.
He never once lowered his chin,
but had to repeat, let the phrase squirm under his skin:
“I’m a human.
I’m a human.
I’m a human”
So he convinces himself he can turn rage into productivity
so he rages into the next mission and speaks out on the T.V. screen
the camera zooms close to his face,
But we don’t see him,
despite his ivory skin,
and we’re not listening.
There’s nothing but the clink of Pellegrino and polite laughter.
If we did slip away from the patio to turn on our eyes,
our lips would quiver like the heat from the Barbeque
“What could drive a mad man to reality?”
What could drive a madman to reality?
Why is there a cotton ball in the Advil jar?
Did you tell him a secret that he couldn’t keep?
Did you tell him that you would always love him, before you threw him away?
And why, oh why, would you think that it would be any different this time?
I hope there’s peanut butter still left in the jar in the pantry
I can’t remember what happened last night but I do know that peanut butter was involved
So involved, why do we do this to ourselves?
Humans, trembling and vulnerable, yet we bring this cruelty into our own lives by our very own doings
Telling each other lies because the truth is awfully boring to bear and
Why do my fingers keep typing when all my mind wants to do is SCREAM!
This is not right, this is not right!
And let these words ring out, free and unadulterated (much unlike you and I)
And let them echo out into the vortex that is the nighttime
When you are alone and isolated
And a teenager.
when’s the last time you listened to classical music?
every. single. time. that i talk about how much
i love the rain,
someone always says
did you ever think that maybe it’s because you live here,
where sun and heat is all you see
and mosquitos tickle at your skin every time you go out?”
and every time someone asks me that same question
i say no, because,
maybe i love something just because i do.
and then they follow up,
do you ever think that if you moved to somewhere
that rained all the time
you would get sick of it
just like you did here?”
and i said no because, sorry texas,
i’ve never been particularly in love with
sunshine or swimming holes or the perfect sno-cone.
some things, you just love.
some things, you just don’t.
i think i understand love.
and happiness, too.
there’s few things that bring me the same comfort
as the pitter-patter of rain against a window
or the perfect smell of rain boots
or the puddles left for us to stomp in.
one of those is you.
and maybe you’re a little bit texas,
but i like you a whole lot better than
sunshine or swimming holes or the perfect sno-cone.
some things, i just love.
and one of them is you.