Four legs and a flat surface. Cover it, color it, stain it, and drape it.
Some are wood, glass, metal, plastic.
There are so many varieties, limitless colors.
Like a person crawling on their knees, a slab of stone thrown across their back; a burden that should be too heavy to bear.
That was where he always came to feed his appetite.
Not for food or sex, no.
The kitchen was used to feed me reasons about why I wasn’t good enough.
“You were too lazy to wash the dishes?”
“I told you to shut the hell up,” and “Ugly worthless bitch.”
Dust-covered boots, labored navy pants,
Men standing united with purpose
amidst broken armored pieces.
A commonality of pausing
before the lens to capture a moment.
A workman’s playground where talents and
physical exertion resolve impairments.
Focus on disconnected body parts
waiting to be melded, metal-to-metal.
Together, brothers, friends, and comrades.
GM factory workers now businessmen.
Sometimes gathered in a football
huddle, ruminating, seeking the best
play or direction for completion of a
A teapot is
a miniature silver stagecoach,
wheels and horses absent,
a goldfish out of water,
temper rising steadily,
A manic-depressive Dad,
up seventy-two hours
ranting repeatedly about
the salesclerk who didn’t cover
his mouth when he yawned and
the neighbor who he thinks
ignored him “on purpose” and
Mother, who he says
“is not saying anything
to take us forward,” wherever that is.
Exhaustion, dejection, Silence,
We never believed in Santa Claus.
As the holidays approached, Mother stayed
up late into the night sewing while my father smoked
In the mornings my brother and me were shuffled out
the door to school. Christmas programs were
planned as we grew increasingly
restless. One evening when Mother was
in the kitchen cooking, I ventured
into a closet and found a large black doll,
hand-sewn. She had a beautiful dark
brown face, long arms and legs, rosy cheeks,
big almond-shaped eyes with eyelashes,
Shiny grooved revolver
Aging rings of a tree,
Infinitely whirling like the hands of a clock
Propelling through time and space
Sitting amongst enlightened minds,
Friends gathering around the table
The dreamers, encapsulated by the rotating side of a 45
Listening to “What is and What Should Never Be”
A Band of Gypsies
Embracing, exploring, expressing
Fighting for a cause, it’s our right
Generations whirled around
A single idea, protesting and professing
It happened not long after I came into this world,
after we had become whole
Those four cherub faces, eyes sparkling and all matching
Mother and Father looking on
A perfect couple,
complimenting one another
His jet black hair slicked back
He’s wearing a crisp clean collar,
His tie straight as an arrow
Her bright smile behind her raven hair,
a golden fleur de lis, pinned on her three button jacket.
Their arms surrounding us,
holding us in this moment
Captured briefly, it’s my only proof
I walk into a bar and everyone ducks for cover
9/11 is the punchline here
No one is laughing
Not me, not the bartender who won’t look me in the eyes, not the collection of sweaty bodies, too drunk to hold their heads up
Misunderstanding is the punchline here
Misunderstanding, miscommunication, misinterpretation
All these misses that we have allowed to seduce our hearts
Fear is the punchline here
Fear is the tool used to isolate, used to
The sky was bright and clear.
We sat shoulder to shoulder.
It was two different colors as a matter of fact.
I felt the ocean between us stir.
Turquoise and Sapphire if I can recall.
It was quick and painful.
A line of clouds seemed to separate the two.
An impact tsunami? “I think I Love her”.
What did the sky look like without those clouds?
Drowning right next to him, could he hear the gasps?
What did it look like where they met?
So close his heartbeat pulsed throughout me.