your official statement on this issue your seething gas-lighting comedy act obscene and vile as if your actual chastisement gains anything you are not her teacher her grandfather her anything
try humility on for size say the words well done! congratulations! genius! the youth will save us! I want to strive to be you when I grow up! you are a role model for generations to come! what an inspiration! listen to the children!
yet she is another flick of ash in your way discarded and discounted disqualified by you a bug on the windshield a little girl on a swing set
she’s got her eye on you your criticism crying and complaining for a half a second before casting you into the ocean some debris to steer around for better things to do with her time
Yes, your gun tucked into your back waist band is hot, and I do not mean stolen — but you know what I mean. I see your ring, but you could be a model for J. Crew when I was into those catalogs. Your November outfit takes me camping, holds me with your eyes that have seen what I saw today. You live here right? The place where air is stale and the ceilings, although high, are uncomfortably low. Oppressing even a short girl like me.
The rooms, after an upgrade, a decision — they have stopped suicide attempts: less perforated surfaces in which to weave a thread through, less bars to noose sheets. The success rate of suicide since this detainment center’s grand opening (It is for detainment), is eight. Completion of suicide is considered a success. That is a low number, but I saw that thick file. I know an ex-boyfriend’s brother used a door knob. Sat down on his knees and leaned way into the choke. That is a whole other story. Still ghosts — when confronted with reality.
I looked back at the man in his cell. Catching his eye and looking away. He was grinding his body up against the BOLTED AND HEAVY door, while I watch the commercial on the TVs, he also sees. A preview for the final episode of American Horror Story. Don’t miss it. Or watch it later. Look away.
An inspection. The pain. The complete delusion. A mother’s son. I saw the library. The GED program. This was not me. This won’t be you.
But it could be. Flip the page. Like when I sat in my piano teacher’s waiting area. Waiting for this kid, who actually practiced, to be done. He got extra time. I was FASCINATED by the book she had on the coffee table. The kind with pictures, optical illusions of faces. Turn it one way, it is an old lady smiling in a feathered hat. Flip the page, it’s a pirate scowling, the feather turned beard and foul teeth.
In that way, I am looking out of my cell. It’s sticky and they will move me soon. I took the class on empathy and how to tell what anger feels like in my body. I connected with the characters in a book I found in the library, but can a girl get some romance reading in here? A microcosm. Dental. Vision. Pharmacy. I got what I need.
We all sleep, and breathe and dream in this city —
But do not go east at night, dear child.
I have mapped these crimes, These grand indictments. These crossed lines Extend past daybreak too I’ve heard these tales, and steer clear Of the latitudes and longitudes.
And south of here, right by school Where you want to just look at Lego sets Even though we have groceries to get — This parking lot becomes territory To lost souls who are not here For Starbucks or weekly shopping peace.
And yes, all 12 voted, first degree Behind your soccer practice fields Mark on your map, a felony. Don’t be alone for crossfire then — Please hold my hand, Just hold my hand.
And north of course, Where you were born Suspicious vehicle left to emergency A man, left to bleed, a kid, really — Only 16.
Does his mother weep? Her sweet son lost in the same driveway Where first we both drove home, Nursed our newborn boys To sleep. Mark the north spot. Ink it, deep.
Well west, you said, Mama look how the sun sets — It’s so beautiful, Mama. Please look away my child. I learned that predators are out on bail, And I have no more ways for us to sail.
And as he grows I am reminded to Pay attention The days of his total Dependence are Almost forgotten He can open the Refrigerator and take Out the jelly Demanding it spread On his uneaten peanut Butter only bagel in His lunch box He has a lunch box! How quiet are our nights How quickly his mind expands Telling me the red thread On my shirt Reminds him of red blood cells Magic School Bus! I kept a list of his words When he was first saying Mama and Daddy And bug and moon All the things I forgot To write down To capture every moment As if it wouldn't escape Me anyway
There was a moment not too long after the turn of the century, or at least it felt soon after, where they tried one last desperate attempt to cling to their grandfather’s insistence of genetic dominance determined by gender when all could not sleep A night that made anxiety Weak in the knees as we watched A decision of the shameless Of powerless deniers Of absolute enablers Because to look in the mirror Would remind them of all of The Mothers and maybe their Fathers who made them And how they too are both Victim and lost To convenience of amnesia But we were watching We knew this would happen Another symptom of excuses Of excess And no accountability But it was time. Because this was the straw That broke the straw on top Of the last thing that happened We thought we were past Already we were all ready Enough.