A Prescription for Yourself

pills are your piggy bank & I know
you’re working on saving yourself
bit by bit every day, plastic bags
full of highs and highers but you
were hired at a Rooster’s you say
is good for your soul– congrats–
I’m at the Walgreen’s on campus
asking questions about your sugar-
coated drops of yesterday held
ransom by the holy words of
prescription papers circled with x’s
and your ex never saw it coming–
the resurrection of a person like
a monument erecting from sweat
and necessity then once you start
changing you don’t stop

 

(originally published in Slamchop Journal, Summer 2017)

The Whole World or Nothing

You suggested whiskey sours
so we left the reading
to walk the golden streets in rain
during the first warm day

which felt like hope–
a riptide cascading
through the chaos of cars
and people on city streets.

Like you, gravel is full of scars
and we trample it under our soles
without thinking.
What do we pray to but the future,

its corpuscular horseshoe
on her way? We are swift
without wind, carving footsteps
in Bukowski’s tattered ambitions.

And when we finally reach the bar’s
back patio with sour piling into our mouths
you strip to your white dress
and show me your tattoos.

We wanted the whole world or nothing.
The sun, the moon, not one or the other.
The stars’ breaths on the nape
of your neck. Every word tingles

the first time celestial bodies meet.
I am cratered with my drink,
this treat and chilled escape.
The staircase leads downward.

 

(originally published in WISH Poetry Press)