The glossy plastic bag was sealed with a twist-tie. Easy. It would only take a few drops, Michael had said. Just drip, drip, and done. I undid the cap in my pocket, twisting my right-hand fingers carefully around the precious little bottle, its chips and dents only noticeable to my sweaty grip. The bread looked at me; it knew that it wouldn’t be at fault. The plump thing opened perfectly! Hardly a crinkle. Clear liquid, that glorious poison, fell peacefully onto the top slice, then I sealed my bread friend, put him back on the shelf where he wanted to be. Twist-ties! Michael would be thrilled. The “twenty-four hour” signs in the store windows flashed as I sauntered into the parking lot. The bar down the road was bustling. I unlocked the pickup truck, climbed into its front seat. And waited.
I step into the battleground, shield strapped behind my ears. Chin covered. Nose covered. Ready. Go. Six from behind Six left Six right Six front An enemy creeping closer, no shield? Closer Six Closer Six Closer Six Weapons drawn. Ready to kill. Six feet apart? Or six feet under? Every stranger is a threat To me To you Six weeks? Six months? Six years? Six lifetimes? Finally home Slam the door Sigh of relief Not any Sixes in here Not any Sixes to hunt me down. For now. I see my parents and sisters and dogs No six degrees of separation, Six degrees closer now.
What can I think of cold, blank, empty halls And crowds that gather just outside the gate? I listen, hear their loud, excited calls And cannot see on what they do fixate. If I could see into another's mind Perhaps it would be possible to know Why they love what cannot respond in kind And praise those things that do not say "hello." The world so loves its objects and facades We learn that they will bring souls to bliss And answer quiet prayers like kind gods, But no purpose have I received from this. And as more minds do brim with empty thoughts, I hope we might escape these lie-filled knots.
The thoughts of left and right, of strict and free Both equal halves of complex nerves and wires Wound so tight in stress and conflicting fires Two lobes, two neighbors in disputed peace The left with structures high and grand but bland And works of logic pasted at each stand Efficient stations strive for perfection Repeated tasks of flawless projection Glitter, glamour, gushing rivers of gold The right with lavish ideas; creative one could say, and highly innovative But stars' lights shine, a glimpse too fast to hold These two lobes fight as nerves and wires wind tight Incessant pain as tensions reignite
Lustrous, long, flowing, deep brown waves, auburn And amber streaks with tendrils, winding loops Reaching toward the sun, falling to earth And, everywhere, unruly, untamed Out of the shower, cascading ringlets, Waves down the back below the waist, like the Raids waterfall, artfully crafted Into a tight braid, snaking down the back Stories of Native American and Black boys, payot worn by Jewish boys, Sikhs Discriminated against, expelled from School because of their traditions, culture Like Samson's hair or the lion's mane, my Strength, identity entwined in my crown.
Serenity, whispering in the night The brilliant light gleaming across the sky Gently awaiting the time to ignite An upper being, standing by as she dies. High above the sky, soaring with the sun Rising like the dawn, a life emerges Moving like the young winds, begging to run Beneath the heat, a new being surges. An explosion of sound, scaring away Misery as the bliss overcomes What once was fear, keeping the thoughts at bay Shining with joy, but turning over the drums. As the sunset appears, she lies awake Pondering life, thinking of mistakes.