America today

America today i don’t want to fight it’s the birth of the dream that you are a torch in the dark

America today i want to make peace and not scream silently in my face in the morning while i brush my teeth

America today i gift you my childhood memories of strawberry ice cream in a waffle cone and slides and swings

America do you remember the fire works show and the flowers in my mother’s hair and my daddy drinking Michelob with his buddies

America when i sobbed at the age of nine over a missing teddy bear Carol and Alice and Lucy and Ethel made me smile

America i will forever love the apple pie and today i will set aside the agent orange sickness that killed my friends’ pas’

America lets celebrate those dreams and the tamales in the street that taste so good to me served with a whopping side of immigrant brown eyed love

America today the news won’t bother me let’s just sit on the front porch and watch the parade

America today i won’t worry about the mess i made of my life or fight with the powers that be

America today i want to celebrate what i have the lessons i have gleaned and the instances you’ve reached out and made me feel free

snapdragons

snapdragons in my dreams are rare
there’s a shadow following me around
my size 8 foot is split in half
and i don’t know when the last time i wore shoes was
you’d be surprised to know
i used to be a marine standing tall
upholding our liberty
i had children and a wife
and snapdragons in Gloria’s garden
where she’d watch our kids
splash in the little pool with Nemo
fish painted on it
black dragons are aplenty
in these sordid streets at night
in the alleys mostly charging at me and Chuck after we smoked a couple rocks his lips bleed from the broken light bulb pipe
the sun still lights i think i’ve seen it clutch the wooden slats between its
solar flares from where i pass out in the mornings
snapdragons are in my dream today
my youngest daughter placed them
at the foot of my grave

GB

GB lost her friend today
in a family of ten GB lost herself
in a culture where family was amputated from centuries ago then GB lost her crown
GB’s friends have lost their battles yet they hang on like fatal car crash victims who wont recognize the great beyond
GB cried today sobbed is the better word
GB judged herself for not being there when his time had come
i only a specter following her around mute and heavy dragging the chains of frigid bureaucracy
GB lost her head for a moment frozen grief there standing
GB never had what we do but we dont comprehend when GB begins to agonize
GB died again today and wailed betwixt the thunder of the freeway next to us
tomorrow GB will wake up and look for him in her dreams his wheelchair there with a a little box of rolling papers asking her for grits and bacon

Daniels and lions

i like to see the people in the park under strawberry moon
in Pershing Square a silent film extraordinaire
they sift through refuse cans filled with Starbucks cups and the ever elusive recyclable water bottle
they work through their children’s play dates daddies selling crystal meth to pay a debt to a society that castrated them at birth
or take for instance the widowed diabetic arthritic hunched over Latina grandmother selling chips and Gatorade while watching her grandchildren who were orphaned at an early age because the sweatshop took their mother at 50 cents an hour to pay to pay to pay
the cloister of the lost waifs from mid west America find themselves now staring at the sun crusted over in sweat and cum fentanyl albatross around their neck wishing they had listened to momma
we are here together alone toiling exposed perfectly harmoniously in despair survival but standing
we are here clinging with bare hand to eternal waking time
we are Daniels and lions all

i knew the rainbow

im not ready to write that poem about pride i want to hold on to the last withering rainbow tufts of our youth
even as society judged you even as i relied on you as your own life hung over the cliff you gave me love
im not ever going to write about the goddamned rainbow and flags and house music and all of what you were pigeon holed into
i ache for you when i see a live pulse in the inside of my scared split wrist
i feel burning shame as if i could only gut myself out the several times you bought my junk when you needed life extending medicine
no i cant write about the marches and those vigils and political farces when i miss you so much
you were my mother my father my sister my brother my protector my guide you were my life choice accountant my guardian my saint
remember the time i was raped and you found them out and morphed into holy rage for a moment hell closed up while your fists rained down fury upon them we both wept
remember the morning when i knocked on your door and your mother answered with a face wet with Mary’s eye dew
from behind your favorite Japanese screen you called to me wondering if i brought you Thai iced tea
i navigated my shock to see your skin and bones when two weeks ago you wine and dined with joy at the Tenderloin
you said come kiss the queen and as i neared the top of your hand lowering my lips to your cool forehead
i melted next to your neck and received the final tear from your left eye and i knew the rainbow wouldn’t ever light my path again

*for Asa, i miss you so much friend say hello to Freddie for me