I carefully burned the bridge
aware of the river below. Warnings rang
from the common folk
declaring, “if your venture in this new city
proves illegitimate and you must return
to your place of old, your welcome will
be diminished like ashes from the fire’s stoke.”
In the unlikely event, I’ll build a boat
and paddle evenly across the wicked ripples
leading back to the land of old,
walk down those streets singing songs of scold
against their leaders and politicians
and those who follow that criminal mold,
and burn the bridge on the town’s other side
and allow that to be the new direction I follow.
Jay Monkee’s Panopticon
–For my brethren locked up
His eye skin droops from failing Botox
and his hair thins from years of abuse.
On most days his lips are stained with red wine
and his cheeks covered in busted nerves.
His feet are deformed from never breaking
in new boots. The inmates notice
as he walks past wearing more money
than they had ever made in a month.
Jay Monkee is an evil man; a greedy man.
He has an ‘open door policy’
yet speaking to him guarantees time in the hole.
He allows for an inmate garden
but only offers ten minutes a day in the yard.
He allows for cleaning oneself only if
work duties are completed.
His guards ensure there is always work.
His main guard, Edith, is always drunk
and cannot manage anyone due to anxiety,
yet the inmates still fear her
because the snipers upstairs may be watching,
waiting to pick them off in dispute.
At Jay Monkee’s Panopticon, disputes
are settled with termination; no discussion.
Yet those inside know they’re better off
than Monkee, because the greed
eating him away is like a corroding battery —
something which used to give power
now leaks acid in a mound of discarded trash
after failing to offer any spark.
As A Young Bird
I was a young bird when he died
testing wind with my splayed wings
having flown only a few times —
On one flight a bright crimson shot
from between two leaves;
my first batch of berries.
Another, a phenomenon
after a morning rain: when I wicked away
the drops caught between my feathers
there strewn along pavement
was a buffet of worms.
He cracked the shell before me
though we were of the same nest.
Our mother chewed beetles
tossed breads, and seeds from
Old Man Baucher’s farm, chewed them up
and fed us like her mother did.
Her wings were shelter during storms
as we curled inside their warmth.
She chased predators with frantic flaps,
awful squawks, and a deliberate warrior dance
opposite her common glide and gait.
When the perfect day came, she pushed us
from our nest, then the branch which held it.
He went first, jumping and flapping like a clown,
landing on a limb midway down.
I followed my brother
mimicking him moves with admiration.
When his wing caught the twig,
ripping through his maturing feathers
he spiraled like a ballerina,
twisting from the sensitive bark
to the unfamiliar ground.