I am going to crucify myself on the pine tree
outside my home. I want to shimmy up the trunk
and press my hands through two branches.
With my arms outstretched and my chest pressed
against the trunk, I would appear to be hugging
the tree during the day, and I would seem like
some jutting bark during the night. My blood
would always look like dripping sap against the bark
and pine cones, so my parents wouldn’t notice
I’m bleeding to death and bring me down.
Potential jurors sip sub-lukewarm coffee and stare
into florescent lights spewing out spoiled milk-white light.
Court officials drift on and off of stools, parroting,
“Everyone check in, otherwise you’ll have to come back
here,” every time they flip through their wrinkled
attendance sheets. Police officers gaze into their shoes
as they stand by the metal detector at the courthouse’s
front door. Nobody looks up when the machine goes off.
Everyone loves Cinderella until she becomes
a queen. She pulls herself up by her bootstraps,
then, after a one-night stand, she sticks on
a glass slipper and gets whisked off her feet.
Then she gets to live her dream, have her
Achilles tendons lathered and massaged. And
the cankles swell along the old widows standing
in the crowds.
Their penises resemble shiitake mushrooms,
but press their tips into their testicle sacs
and they spring up like flowers, full of seed.
Well, how the mighty fall, confessing into a tin can, “I
don’t remember this from years ago, but if it happened
it’s not alright, but it was years ago before I came here,”
as they roll down the Tower of Babel toward shallow
graves lacking topsoil so they won’t asphyxiate.
We hear you loud and clear, boys. No. The women you
looked through and threw yourselves onto said no
to you then, and we say no to you now. You’re about
to crash down and you won’t be dead, not yet. But
we’re clearing out the fog you’ve made with your breath,
so we’ll see you rising if you try this shit again.
An impatient pavilion awaits its decay.
Eight graves on the lip of the former
community lie under weeds and tree trunks
and their tightly donned shade. In the
night, the wind does not pick up;
the day finds everything in its place
as yesterday. Nothing will change today.
You don’t have to speak for me to know your apathy.
Your two-yard stare betrays you, your tracing right
to left across the page and off the page into the
space between my two eyes. Goodbye, you’re conveying,
to these headlines, and they’ll take their leave later
today decreeing, “Until we three meet again.”