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i met and hugged your mom after your homecoming show. ten minutes later - half an hour after everything was supposed to be closed - you're slouching in your seat at the bar, looking down at your hands, everyone is talking at you.

only one of them gets a response.

i put my hand on your leg.
"you ok? where are you staying tonight?"
"i have no idea. i just..i just watched my mom and my uncle walk away and i.." i can tell you are trying not to feel things in public.
"my ride will be here in a couple minutes, if you want a way out of here. you don't even have to say goodbye to anyone."
"yes. please."


you're running your fingers over my bare ribs.
"your skin is like elastic."
i laughed. "what does that even mean?"
"it's..untouched -"
(you have no idea how right you are, how i can't even think of letting anyone else near me. but i can't say these things)
"..unspoken to, watering a plant."
"- by the sun. i was trying to give you a compliment."
"thanks, but you just missed a perfect bukowski reference."
"no i didn't."

too much
too little

too fat
too thin
or nobody.

laughter or


strangers with faces like
the backs of
thumb tacks

armies running through
streets of blood
waving winebottles
bayoneting and fucking

an old guy in a cheap room
with a photograph of M. Monroe.

there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
the hands of a clock

people so tired
either by love or no love.

people just are not good to each other
one on one.

the rich are not good to the rich

the poor are not good to the poor.

we are afraid.

our educational system tells us
that we can all be
big-ass winners.

it hasn't told us
about the gutters
or the suicides.

or the terror of one person
aching in one place

unspoken to

watering a plant.

people are not good to each other.
people are not good to each other.
people are not good to each other.

I suppose they never will be.
I don't ask them to be.

but sometimes I think about

the beads will swing
the clouds will cloud
and the killer will behead the child
like taking a bite out of an ice cream cone.

too much
too little

too fat
too thin
or nobody

more haters than lovers.

people are not good to each other.
perhaps if they were
our deaths would not be so sad.

meanwhile I look at young girls
flowers of chance.

there must be a way.

surely there must be a way that we have not yet

thought of.

who put this brain inside of me?

it cries
it demands
it says that there is a chance.

it will not say