In My Own Way

Love like comparison to summer days

and broken hearts like heavy, hurting chests

make no sense to me.

Love was reading her favorite book and

trying to figure her out in every line.

Love was sending random greeting cards--

"Get well soon" even though she wasn't sick.

Heartbreak was having to set my own alarm

since she wouldn't be getting up before me anymore.

Heartbreak was smiling and lying to the cashier

about why I was returning so many things.

Beating hearts and crying rivers? Spare me.

Love and heartbreak are more about

buying groceries for another person

than they are about poetic sentiment.

Hopes and Dust

At a gas station halfway between here
and where everyone wants to be one day,
A maid lives off the dirt and petrol fumes
kicked up and blown by those chasing dreams.

A couple and a dog stopped one Tuesday.
"Fill 'er up," they drunkenly told the maid.
On half a tank, they sped off with the hose.
The dog toppled out and they laughed away.

No one came after that to the station.
Just a scar on the long road, useless now,
and the maid sat alone with the lost dog,
looking to the far-off horizon lights.

"That's where they all go," she said to the dog,
"Being selfish and forgetting us fools
who think now is a place for tomorrow."
The dog sniffed the dirt and made mud of piss.

"It's my turn," she said to the dog. "I'm sorry."
She locked it in the station and drove off,
leaving behind "safe" and "happy" for her
own "what if"s and "I need"s, and the dog starved.

When It's Broken In

This couch
And these chairs
Will hold me when I am proud to own them
When they are new and I build and buy the world around me
The status of success
Treasures of hard work

And they'll get the wine stain of a good party
And soak the sperm and juices of a conquest
And the sweat of lying alone in summer heat
And the vomit after stumbling (again) to my empty home

This couch
And these chairs
Will be thrown out when I am not proud to own them
When they are old and the world has beaten and bought me
The toys of bachelor excess
Myopic artifacts of a sold fate

Fighting on the Homefront

We were drunk on box wine

and we cheers-ed our spigotted cardboard over and over,

salute and "here's to X" and nostrovia

Because why not? It's a celebration.

And every time, in a choir, GWB's "mission accomplished"

And the local kids we hired to play the night?

They got in on the drinking too.

Because why not? Aren't they American too?

And, y'know kids, eventually one puked on the other's amp,

But after the fight, they played Sweet Home Alabama for us

While they spat blood into the hay between verses

Then, a tire fire sorta happened, and "aw what the hell, sure"

We all danced and drank, sucking in that black smoke,

and out came the syrup and the football

and the "two of these'll put your head right"

Because why not? We did what we were supposed to,

praying (and drinking) hard here

and dying (and dreaming) hard there.

And then I saw somebody's wife (can't say who)

slipping her gold off into those cute little apple-bottoms

and she bounced around the fire,

popping whatever was dropped in her hand

smoking whatever hit her nostrils

and swallowing whatever burned good,

cause I guess she felt her fight was over.

Mission accomplished, right?

And she grabbed that man from the Wal-Mart

Because why not? It's a free country.

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