A hand beckons from a coffin
the brain slams into a bottle,
bloodshot flooding the eye
you stagger away
wearing a sign that reads
don’t give up on me.

Syringes drain you dry as the Mojave
loved ones hostage their lives,
anguish outlines you in chalk.
God sends a lifeboat. It comes back empty,
one prayer after another
commemorate the faithful
‘til something dies in all of you.

At a holiday gathering a 1st cousin
asks about you; your mother
heaps food on plates in silence,
gossip leans in politely.
Father’s funeral
her parched eyes tell you
I’ll sever your feet
to keep you above ground.

You return one desperate night
to an empty house; collapsed
at the end of a cul-de-sac, past
a neighbor’s rusting Dodge,
your childhood friend embalmed
at the wheel, twin paths cross
a breath expires between you.

One May morning a horse ridden woman
vanishes from that corner where you turned.
The coroner tags another toe, autopsy says
cause of death: asphyxiation by lust
A bomb ticks in your head,
I stand with you defused.


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