ghosts sit by the door
lurking between the wood planks
with them a scent of gardenia
silver orbs hang in the dark
eclipsed by the street light
i speak to them in my mind
they retort that i am a sinner
groaning their disappointment
weeping then leaving
as the night waltzes on
my eyes strain to seek the stars
between the TV antennas on apartment roofs
meat and bone stars twinkle instead
providing my neighbors with a comfort
the witching hour around the corner comes
my eyes turned downward
ignoring a call from the highway
bent on taking me out to a life
i ran away from

flipping BMW drivers

where did that young girl go with wild wild hair to the air wind Master goddess
i used to see her in her shredded dirty jeans skateboard and Vespa rider with a Red Hot Chili Peppers sticker on it
flipping BMW drivers transporting hair metal idols up that degenerate Sunset boulevard
she went to hand out scraps of food and sterile needles to those trespassers of the high falutin hills of Hollywood
laughing crying walking up the trails to the magically acoustic historical Bowl in the hopes of enticing young runaways to come and stay at the charity homes
touched forever by JMBs dinosaurs with lines roller skating on the canvas walls
to meet the hero in her mind and not to know if he sunk or rose after getting called to judgment

sonnet for the trafficked

streets wet with ocean dew by the train stop

girls with glittering mouths dance in the eyes

men who lost their wages to sinful lust

we smoke with lights out every other block

in the ally they waste covered with flies

bended knees to a system that’s not just

our dreams fast escape through broken windows

on some faces a smile is just a lie

through loss of self remember not to trust

we long for those we love trapped in shadows

filthy shame to cause our blood to rust

the soul cauterized from love so we die

walk the streets with spirits that now are crushed

the warmth of hearts these mean streets have frozen

at night our cries hush

Mr. Brando, take it from the top

Taino walked closer to me he wrapped his poncho covered arms around me almost twice and began to cry sharing with me that his mom had cancer and that he dreamt i died in the 3rd street tunnel  i cried for his mother too his words only solidified the reality of my having to stop being a junkie maybe i’d be a worse person for stopping maybe i’d be a better person for it that was the risk and the chance that i would have to take no matter how afraid i was i would have to learn how to live with this new sober self because the old junkie self was killing me i couldn’t die no matter how hard i wanted to there was something in me taunting me that i could not die and i would not die i knew every inch of this truth because i had tried to die many a time in the past and failed i failed for a reason that i didn’t entirely comprehend not logically like a scientist but like something a feeling walking in a dark cave feeling yourself through the black path with your fingers bloody and scratched up even in pain down to the bone you eventually crawl out into the light and the light will hurt your eyes for the first few seconds after my trip to detective Tate and several more visits to Taino’s apartment it took me seven years to crawl out of that cave and into the bull ring of life written about by Papa and even after all this time i still find myself maneuvering the symbolic lancets capes and swords needed to bring down the lingering bull-strength ghost of addiction

dry ice cold

waking up in a curtained hospital emergency room a few hours later felt like the mist of dry ice cold lonely i wasn’t sure if i was shivering out of fear anger or because i was in need of a fix quietly i began to pull IVs out of my scratched scrawny arms but then was foiled by the noisy Mexican nurse coming in to check on me “oh little missy you shouldn’t do that here just relax and the doctor will be right in ok” she stuck me back in the arms as she smiled wide and exaggerated like a jester i resented her calling me ‘missy’ but i figured she was just doing it to be friendly after all there was no way in hell she enjoyed patching up half dead carcasses coming in during grave yard at County Emergency she had that normal all-American positive vibe pretty and middle aged “what time is it ma’am” i strained a dry rasp “it’s 5:49 am honey listen there’s a detective talking to your doctor right now they’ll come in to see you soon do you need anything some water or tea” asked my nurse as she smiled at me this time like Carmen Zapata from the 70’s kid’s show ‘Villa Alegre’ where i learned some Spanish when i was a foster kid i wanted to take refuge in her normal all-American positive vibe as i started feeling queasy and shaky again lying on the gurney with my thighs and insides on fire a lava lamp-like panic began unraveling

this whole again

1. on the edge life sits
2. the sky orange with tinge
3. of the progress by man
4. if we tilt we lose footing
5. if we bend we lose grace
6. the compromise too great
7. so we sit unknowingly
8. but not silent
9. fingers say our words
10. our tongues no longer needed
11. my body moulded by ballots
12. but what of the soul
13. a spirit cracked
14. where the better angels
15. how to make
16. this whole again

mbrazfield (c) 2022