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

insomniac

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

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

words hushed

to forget my line
across the street the crowd
opposite my thoughts crowded
in my brick building mind
there are willow trees
lining the dirt paths
that used to be dustless
still the little brick corners
prick up catching my heels
from the corner of my dry right eye
i catch Fante in a grey suit
head bowed writing on a pad
golf pencil a story about a girl
straight ahead the afternoon
pierced in the heart by pigeons
scared into the sky
by wailing fire trucks
and my face dead on
the Mexican artisanal mirror
my lips red my words hushed

of Clorox and slime

if ever i should just begin to walk
down this anxious street
that goes into the mouth of the tunnel
where we all take refuge from having to rationalize the next three nano seconds of our lives
the subway tile old and cracked
fossilized grime keeping the fading pulse
what would it be that i’d think of
the history or the art
or how we got to be entwined by the tyranny of the city
or perhaps by the 32nd step deep
i’d think of the flower district
giant sunflowers in painters buckets drowned by murky water
the baby’s breathe
as bright and lively as the milky way
on the ground
the spell broken
the steam of drying liquid
smelling of clorox and slime
around step 68
out from the canal of the tunnel
the cracks and scars on the walls
have turned into cuneiform
symbols and communicators
mournings and encoded confessions
my sins beyond
the daily bustle