I look at the toddlers
dressed as adults;
drinking and gnashing and shouting
karaoke at the top of their lungs.
Just seconds away from making out
to breed more waves of crap
and I pretend to remember what
the fuck I’m doing here.
Stolen car stereo,
lonely and discarded,
next to the sidewalk.
I used to say “piece of cake” all the time
and was a very difficult person.
Difficult to everyone because difficult protects
and insures that no matter how many
times they look at the cover of the box,
the puzzle picture remains illusive.
This insures that nobody, not nobody, is ever,
allowed to see the boring dead things,
you hid under your bed, in your closet,
the backyard, and down by the river.
They are your secrets and I’ve forgotten them
because it was easy, easy to do.
Me and Greek were skateboarding through Humboldt Park.
This was the 90s. I know this because I had a yellow Rage t-shirt,
the one with the evil empire kid, and it went down mid-thigh.
My hair went to my shoulder but was shaved underneath.
Humboldt still is weird but back then it was a complete shitshow.
Me and Greek stopped to sit and share a smoke near the lagoon.
Three Kings in red came by and the youngest one, who was like twelve,
looked at the older ones and said,
"What about these fucking guys?" As if they were going to beat us up
or rob us or whatever it is Kings do.
The oldest one goes, “No! Those guys are dirtballs, you stupid.”
They walked on, A dragon fly landed where the young one stood.
Me and Greek looked at each other and agreed by shrugging.
Some People Will Always Need a Villain
Occasionally you miss the people so hard in your life
that they become walls of brick, piece by piece
slowly locking you forever in closets by yourself.
They become so isolated from you
that they turn around and believe
there is no sun if they only ever wake up at night.
They think the dark is the light.
You miss them so much that the missing and hating
start to roil together like ice in water,
until they can’t remember which closet they locked you in.
It’s abstract but I’m saying I’m sorry, I think,
but I can’t remember what for.
I think about all these people who used to be in my life,
like houses I’ve seen on the side of the road
out the window of vans,
from the tail end of dreams,
with other people holding candles and hands.
Most of these houses are just shadows in the blur,
occasionally there were ones that I remember the look of
for seemingly no reason at all.
Some that I lived in. Some that I slept in. Some I spit on the floor.
Some that I punched holes in and then put paintings over
so guests wouldn’t see.
When houses start to burn down though, I smell the embers
of hickory smoke and I forget our conversation and stare
off to the sky. I remember the houses I was built after,
the houses that were my home,
but those memories fade with time and crumble into the weeds.
I will build a new house in the ruins of the old
just like the ones before me.