Before you get killed

Some people don’t know

The difference

Between allowing you

To go

And waiting

To see

If you’re going to stop

Before they get plowed into

By your confusion

You being

People who think their aggression

Is winning

Rather than

The other’s patience

That got mixed up with

Forced kindness

That they too

Could not explode

Burst through

Pretend that their carriage

Was the only horse in town

And everyone else

Equaled ants who if stepped on

Were inconsequential

Expected

Too bad

But too bad

For you

You don’t see them coming

You see them stopping

Thinking they’re fearing

Not knowing the existence

Of their patience

In the presence

Of your aggression

Not knowing that you’ve got just one

More chance

And that one day

They won’t wait

to participate

They’ll just go

They’ll just collide

With their gear on

And you’ll be the ants

Who were

Out of

Pure luck

Chinese Vacuum

Down

Came up 

A speck of brown dust

That rose

And wafted 

In the air

I looked

I dared

And the crack from which the dust rose

Exposed

A deeper crack

Beneath it

And beneath that

Another crack

A heat pulsated

And pushed

And burned the wood

Making the embers

That rose up

A rush

A bang

A click

And a roar

The Chinese vacuum

Came once more

Over 

The crack and back

Again

But the dust still rose

And wafted

And

tricked

Me into thinking

That this was it

But the crack beneath the crack beneath the crack

Was hot and burned 

Underneath the surface

The Chinese vacuum could not get beyond 

The flat

Hard wood

At the top

It could not get rid of

What had been burned 

And was

already gone

Long, long time ago

Pinpointed Pupil

Come here

and look at my

pinpointed pupil

unlearning you

constricted 

and

asleep

as if

you weren’t even there

as if it were 

dark outside the lens

Or, as if you were

here

reading me

as if you didn’t know

those poppy seeds,

I sprinkled on your bagel

because your mother

and father

didn’t think 

you needed breakfast

and let you walk to the bagel store

half awake,

could not somehow give you a positive outlook

on life

instead of a positive 

drug test

could not somehow

make you

wake up

and get straight A’s

and become immune to poison

from bad people who mix your

Cocaine with your carfentanil

in hopes that you would

lie down 

like an elephant

and pour your entire bank account 

into their Facebook account

come here pupil

taste my morphine on your lips

smell my red brown, bleeding bulbs

I promise you 

they will become

flowers

that you can smell

and choke on

when your hay fever gives way

and your sore throat starts

to pray and itch and call for 

this cough medicine

with just enough codeine to get you 

right 

before

your bedtime story

that would bore me

if I liked fentanyl 

with my tea

in my book-of-the-month

picture 

on my Facebook page

which is the only page

I can barely see now

where the flash of the camera

made my already pinpointed 

pupils 

disappear

made this oxycodone

look like candy

and my naloxone scream

Bloody bulb!

No Such Thing as Free Peas and Rice

I need to create

boundaries

between me

and them

I need to stop taking

unsolicited advice

when the season is nice

when the flowers are fresh

I need to stop getting sliced

up with

my side of rice

my potatoes and greens

can we not be mean

today

while I sprinkle my Old Bay

seasoning

all over my despair

do you not see me here?

I need to stop listening to

my life forecast

with my info

on blast

my life

on display

for anyone

you forgot

was along the way

at Smashburger

while I’m eating my fries

enduring my forced intermittent

cries

for help

get me away from you

who wants to analyze

my every step

while taking no steps

with me

not showing a moment of gratitude

for me being alive

or even peace of mind

I need to stop taking advice

with my free peas and rice

no such thing as free peas and rice

Death by Money

Lingchi sounds

like lynching

it sounds like the sound of

fire put up against

flesh

as the hairs curl back

and the skin becomes

hot

then

red

then brown

a nasty bubble

white formations

on end

wondering if the healing process is really happening

because every transformation

after the Lingchi

stops

feels like another cut

another bruise to heal the bruise.

Lynching sounds like Lingchi

Crowd around me

as you give me my out

Let the ghosts come and feed on my flesh

as I’m taken away

by the barbarity of your caring

which you call caring

because you cared

that something happened

so you intervened

only really to make it worse

only really to take out

all of your frustrations

on the final sign of disrespect

for you

you’ve had enough

so you throw paper at me

to hang me

because you know

I won’t be able to see you

cutting me

while I’m scurrying to pick up

and count the money

which is no longer money

because you’ll never give me

what I want

I have to take it