I open my eyes in a crowded arcade.
Dusty machines and underhanded victories
spill out from slots we call, doors.
There are friends here. Drunks, spilling out
from slots we call, doors.
I wrestle with the idea of freedom. It nearly
wins; winding up to pounce like spring-time,
the lion of Judah.
I open my eyes in a dim Virginian apartment.
Compartmentalized candlelit shabbas,
dipped in wine and a daughter who is not
a good daughter holds me in her arms
like a good sister. She learned Hebrew
to impress a boy who barely could speak
enough English to pay her child-support.
I open my eyes and I am in a siren-soaked
supermarket. I am told they are looking for
Ishtar, over an intercom.
A google search easily sheds her
secrets. Leaves pixels streaming like
a mother’s tears. Any kiss left from this
goddess’s lipstick will sear into you
like war. Like Judas, on fire. Like a 13 year old,
arrested for seducing a train-ride away
I open my eyes again, and a bearded man
shakes my hand, asking: have you seen
this woman? I shake my head: no one has.
Not even Venus recognizes her own
divinity, when she’s used to car-sex and
smoke filled aspiration.
People are running all around me!
They look like they’re running from
some rampant snarling beast.
I open my eyes, and I’m sitting with
my misery, my shame, my monster,
and my name. Two of these rhyme,
and none are sane. So, I greet them.
Hello misery; you look so familiar.
A picture of me, etched by charcoal
fingers. Shame says nothing, as usual.
My monster is bound by a mirror, I keep
in hand. My name asks me why I came here.
I say: I’m looking for my family.
My name scoffs; is that why you replaced me?
Is that why you’ve replaced the past?
No! I say, I haven’t the money to afford that.
I open my eyes and we’re at a long-table.
The truth sits at the head, waiting.
We are misery, shame, a monster, my name,
I am misery, shame, a monster, my name,
and me. All sharing a meal. Sardonic salad
tossed like pencil shavings in the
I close my eyes when the mirror-bound
monster asks; did you lose your way?
Is that why your mother cries herself to sleep?
I l__p onto shame. WE ARE NOT THE SAME!
I open my eyes — CRACK. My pencil broke
against this page. I hold up the mirror,
and my monster claims: A pencil will snap when
pressed with enough pain.