I. the neighbors
the people are painted one color,
an unchanging blue.
unlike the sea,
just like the ocean.
they mock the garbage men like dandelions on their freshly manicured lawns
while their children fall in love with the sound of their voices.
their babbles never reach my bedroom. i sleep.
II. the church
at this hour,
my father’s open arms become iron bars
and his soft words
in his attempt to preserve the goodness left in this building
and give it to me.
i can see what he’s trying to show me, but yet
the priest’s robes look too big for me to fit into.
III. the inlet
there’s a bonfire tonight!
lumber from each live, laugh, love decor
feeds the flames
until our consciences
can’t hear the burn
of every shot down our throats,
our hollow fingers aching like gun barrels.
after a chaser for the taste of self-destruction,
to cool off,
the Ocean kisses our toes and tells us
to come more often.
she whispers to me that i
am a small god of everything
i can’t control.
i believe her.
IV. the streets
i often ride my bike alone,
following the veins of a history written for me
(not about me)
and wishing for all of the colors!
when the sky is heaving from the weight of all those
i join my friends
and i hold their souls close to mine
on the way back Home.
i avert my eyes as i pass the church.
V. the morning ride to school
i am driven out of Hometown every morning to attend school.
my bus arrives early, when
Dawn is still stretching her warm limbs,
still rubbing her dewy fingers over her eyes.
she smiles, half-asleep;
her sunrise is reflected in the face of my driver.
one day, i hope to compare myself to her.
(this photograph is titled ’radiance’).
after each day,
with jelly legs,
i hide myself in my sheets and wait
for night to come.
my sisters knock for me.
the walls are paper thin,
and their whisperings are slippering
through each layer of plaster
to greet my ears like a hug after a
L o n g
C r y.
during this time, i forgive myself for everything i’ve done and everything i haven’t.
who else will?