Everything in Five Minutes

He says he wants everything, after she asks him
what he wants. Confused, she just leaned over,
so he can, at least, have a better angle. A good angle

can mean everything. There are a few things
that Chica knows.  What men see

in her is not one of them. What
could possibly be everything? She grabs the sides
of the nasty locker-room bench to give herself some

leverage from falling over
with each thrust. Each thought

moves like a haunting. Ghosts from the past come to
show her that secret friendship between the small girl inside her
who loved the swings at the playground and the man

who showed her what little death meant, before she even knew
the word sex. Waiting all day on Sundays in a snowsuit

for her father who never, ever showed up to take her
sledding. She never heard him say the word
love, not once. There are things always best left

unsaid like thoughts draining out of her,
while holding the head of her

middle school playmate when he died
from a stab wound to the heart:
that bloody mess in the glittering morning

snow. The dead people of her
history. She wraps her own arms around herself

every night now, just to have embrace. The man who shares
her bed isn’t fond of affection. Drugged
one night, a man did things she’s grateful she can’t

remember. No matter how much she showered,
the dirty never washes clean, so she takes long hot soaks

instead of scrubbing. The pieces of her are all
scattered in things no one knows about. There
are parts of everything that Chica has no grasp on

understanding. Can she give everything, when she can’t
even be free enough to give

what she knows? She finally finds the piece of her—in that
disgusting locker-room—that forgets about all
the poltergeists of bodies that are

just memories. He says, I’m done. Standing up,
she tells him, everything only lasted five minutes,

but I’ll take what I can get, since
I’m not anywhere close to being done, now
everything is running down my leg.

Just Fun Right? or The Language of Glancing Eyes

There are puddles of oil polluting
the environment surrounding us, and you
made me like it. In a glance, we read each
other’s pupils without even being close enough
to see them clearly, then quickly
avert the eyes. As we look away from each other,
so no one notices our noticing,
we whisper the name of God
catching our breath. All of the filth climbing the walls
around is a memory for an instant, so we keep looking
for that opportunity again, calling it all just fun.


A token of beauty in
an otherwise filthy garage,

she labors as hard as the men

around her, her scent
on their fingers if they use the same shop rag,

in the humid noxious space
of the garage. She wipes the sweat

pooling between her breasts
with the stained, stinky, soiled shop rag.

She can be sensed
by smell, despite the insistent stink.

Feel Me

I don’t know what
it is, but the Seas
that reflect back in your eyes
are haunting, like images that somehow translate

to people, and that person squinting in front of me
is a Caribbean blue bouncing

off the breakers of Lake Erie.

Mess With my Water’n I’ll Come After You

The man with expressive eyes scoffs
at the smell of Lake Erie, in a slightly Americanized

Puerto Rician accent, It just stinks. And it’s dirty
water. Caribbean currents rain in his heart for something

even being bilingual can’t help him describe. Her skin has

been ripening under Misery Bay sunsets to a toasted almond
glowing plume radiating warmth of the short humid

summer. It makes her eyes glow

some bioluminescence. She utters, Just give me water,
no matter where it is, or what its name is, or in what language

its name is spoken, and I’ll be fine.

Fishin of a Different Sort

You didn’t throw me
from a moving airplane,
but sure as shit my love is
raining over the high tides of Misery
Bay. The strength of those choppy waters
can pull anyone under, no matter
how strong they are. Turns people
into bait for fishes.


That’s how the worth of my days
and years, and hours, long

hours, all of those very slow
minutes, and every last wasted

second are determined. Working
on the clock to labor my wage. Every

beautiful thing is so disdainful. I am

blessed to have a job. At first
it loves you, then it burns. You must

continue seeking and seeking and
seeking, OH GOD

THING? That thing they say
gives you importance. The one. Your soul. That

everlasting need of losing
yourself of so many, many

moments making your breath catching

with no damned
exertion at all. Effortlessness is totally

unobtainable. Being a number, 1 is denied being
a person by a Corporate Personhood

with a math of imaginary
numbers and so many meaningless victims.


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