Day 133 – Santa Monica Pier

It’s easy to get lost in the crowds on the boardwalk
and there lies the beauty about it-
on Earth, as in sand,
as in water, as in sky-
life is mangled together,
small.

A man selling elotes,
a dog harassing the gulls,
children slipping rocks through slits
to the ocean below

We are all of us busking,
all of us dancing for a dollar,
all of us burning
under the slow heat
of a ravenous star

A vast horizon of endless potential,
endless iterations of summer dreams
huddled as grains of sand
on an endless beach

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Day 87 – Two Sweaters

I remember the same two sweaters-
one plum and the other maroon-
that had to last the whole winter
and how it bothered me
that my old Lion King sneakers didn’t match
and how it bothered me
to think everyone would notice.

I remember being so pleased
at being allowed to invite over a classmate
and taking her to my closet
to show her my outfits
and knowing those two purple sweaters I hated
were the best I had to show.

I remember the girl who came over;
her sneakers didn’t match, either.
I don’t know where she is
but I have so many sweaters now.

Day 56 – The Slower Death

Today I was a distinguished panelist
at a collegiate symposium
speaking about my experience
in the education profession.

I know.
I don’t believe it either.

Immediately after I had the urge
to listen to Post Malone
while drinking Red Bull
maybe buy a blunt
off of somebody in the bathroom
drive too fast and prove
I’m not a grownup,┬ánot really.

But I can’t do that, either
because I’m too old
and that shit’s just not cute.

So I’ll take the slower death
of continuing my work
with a bucketful
of Halloween candy.

Day 48 – The Night Guard

Protector of the infantry
from their own scraping blades-
no more falling
on your sword
in your sleep-

the night guard
is here
to defend.

I sell it to myself
on the drive home
from the dentist-

the closest to truly brave
I’ll ever get.