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

don’t want marching saints no more

I don’t smoke anymore. I don’t pay attention anymore. I don’t do much anymore. Anymore matters not to anyone. It’s been about two weeks. There is a foggy dream pricking at my waking reality. There is a politeness as to not give away who I am, and who we are, and what we are not made of. Orion’s Belt has lost another Queen Sister. Look up, see? The castle shines less than it did about fourteen days ago.

Sitting next to me, he, young and professional talked to you about developing a plan for hope. Sitting next to me, your cracked yellowed fingers, stiff like frankincense resin, shuffled through your last official systematic memoir, but he and I didn’t know. Did you know? Or did you know you couldn’t go on? Your blue framed reading glasses made of plastic were spotty and needed a scrub. Your skin ashy and hair matted into a bun, those fingers searching for that someone who told you that you were fine so that we could tell you too

 We met on St. Valentine’s, you tried with all of your might on St. Habet-Deus and laid yourself to rest on St. Alvaro’s soiree. Yet, when the old timer hard core practicing apostles hailed St. Polycarp, I stood looking at the west atop the building’s nest with my back to your door sealed by the authorities of science and service.

the yellowing cranes

the riverbed is cool the cranes have a yellowish belly but are beautiful nevertheless there are bleached soda cans but the logos hang strong against the California sun i sit by the reeds and watch the Chinese couple dig in the mud for long lost jewels they explain the husband is originally from Kansas she says i watch on until pitch black leathery little birds with mean diamond tinged eyes and beaks yellow like egg yolks begin to crowd around catching tadpoles one stands on a mossy Takis bag on the trail bicycles travel north to south and vice versa i only see helmets from my shivering reeds somewhere by the train yard an old trash truck backfires and the mean little black birds lift up into the sky like a flamenco dancer’s skirt my eyes pause at the rim of Dodger stadium and out of nowhere my mind drags me to the summers eating sticky juicy watermelon slices with my sister as the grown ups drank howled and listened to the game on an old radio from their army days and now i wonder if they died knowing that some day i would be leisurely sitting by these LA River reeds sipping fancy tea watching treasure hunters and fancy bicycle helmets wiz by and are the yellowing cranes the souls of our lost boys from the Hanoi Hilton