serial number

the beeping and the blinking

and the math on the wires

monitors and iv drips

blue and silver serial numbers

of the medical equipment

sent tiny shocks of stress

directly to his sweat soaked head

since adolescence

the only way he knew

how to soothe himself

after a stressful situation

or how to survive

a dry period

between snorts or shots

was to savor the sensation

of his rolling eyes

to the back of his neck

after a good junk score

it started with strained nerves

abstract jittery eyelids

tiny tear drops sweeping

from the corners of his eyes

then tenebrosity

gunning through pin-hole pupils

the relief of a private world now televised

his relief

the private world

painted with garish French carnival colors

golds that were green

reds that were milky blood pink

old ship ropes and Macaque monkeys

like the ones from a Burroughs’ dream

waterfalls in John Wayne movies

in the city
there are no waterfalls
just runny slimy drips
on rusted pipes
amid the feet of children
who dance
some of us conjuring wishes
between bus lines and  electric poles
there was poetry in hips of maids
testosterone sonnets from metal lunchboxes
in the city pigeon shit awning
ten jewelry stores each selling
radios from Lebanon
waterfalls in John Wayne movies
fifth grade wishes Wonder Woman
jacket and a pink Barbie brush set