Love on the Road

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Perhaps, if there is reincarnation,

it could have been 1975

the last time we were alive,

wandering the Arizona desert

ready to discover what’s bigger

and beyond the swamp jungle

I grow up in today.

 

We were young and learning, but

I explained that we must never try

to escape the era of “why”. You laughed

as I  grabbed handfuls of sand,

dry and untouched

by humidity, along the side of the road,

watching me high from just being

a stranger to a cactus.

 

So in the past,

we probably sat on the hood of our car

because I wanted to gaze at the sunset

peak at us behind an orange plateau

thinking aloud about how and when it emerged

and what took us so long to find the new world,

the life they pass by with a glance.

 

Finally, hopping off the car, we concluded

it’s nothing but God,

God who asked us to preserve it all

with our power and you watched

as I started to believe again

as we drove away.

 

Today, we never visited.

But I want to believe with you again so badly,

amid the bad news in human nature.

 

 

Problem Child

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Everyone knew about the girl

with the long braid down her back,

growing up alone

while her family lived constantly

on the edge of a train wreck.

 

 

But we turned our heads,

turned up the TV.

Quickly, she figured out

that no one really cares

except the girls with the booze,

the boyfriend with the herbs,

the much older boyfriend with the compliments.

 

And that’s how we stopped to pay attention.

The Conversation

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After you spoke,

crisis.

 

Elbow space between

us on the couch, you pulled me

into where you thought

when you really talked–

I mean, past the dirty jokes,

and stories about your eighties metalhead

days, scaring  small town church ladies

(while intriguing their daughters).

 

You’re older and life gave you more

answers than I had questions.

So once we edged closer and deeper:

there’s sex, our bodies, love for all

neighbors on a wide spectrum;

or finding God, then expanding

the image of where to find him. Your

masculine angle charged my

feminine energy in bloom; talks

of freedom, and what makes us connect

one vibe to another.

 

It was getting late. I must be going.

But the conversation came home with me.

 

See, I didn’t plan to come over

and hear you rearrange my settings,

but I’ve already started rerouting.

I could take the detour–

 

But am I ready?

Moving Forward (part II)

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But every triumph seems to drive

its way back to you, even when

you’re on the other side of town

(where I left you).

 

At first,

I was driving forward

after every promotion, and I could

only see you in the rear view.

But once you become an afterthought:

“If only…you saw me now.

This could have happened earlier,

and I would’ve responded differently–”

 

I slam on the brakes.

I was wrong.

I’ve been going in reverse all this time.

Hurricane Season

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They are getting closer.

 

The rising gulf takes back the region

inch my inch.

Boneless fingers leap from the wet

crowd to grab a handful of sinking earth

every time they collide.

 

They are getting closer.

 

Sometimes I study a map

and see the skeleton where skin  used to be.

 

They are getting closer.

 

And every hurricane

wants to crumble an army

of levees and bowlegged cypress trees

before the coup de grace.

 

They are getting closer.

 

As if,

once storm season is over,

one wave says to the other,

“Maybe next century,

we’ll get real lucky.”

Poem: Social Anxiety/Introversion as a Librarian: Sensory Overload

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Maybe my mom is right, and one

day, I’m about to outgrow

my social anxiety and “come out

of my shell” (the main project

of my ninth grade teachers).

 

But I think it’s happening–

I’m at the circulation desk

and a crowd of human voices,

faces,

are coming all at once, reciting their

biographies as they drop books

on the desk and I didn’t turn into

a deer in highlights. My social battery

is still full. My eyes are absorbing

their light, their extroversion. I may

really like people, I don’t mind that the phone

won’t stop ringing and the trainee wants

to make a comment. A man says

here’s the thing about Donald Trump though,

another grumbles, “kids these days”,

then it’s I’ve been waiting for this book

for days,  then I just want to let you know my taxes

pay for this library so refund the 85 cents

the printer took from me, the trainee

has another question, let me tell you

what I think of Syrian refugees,

let me tell you how Jesus is the man, my sista,

did you know you come from an African queen?

my mother came here from Italy in 1903,

this book will change your life,

do you know anything about filing taxes?

Can you take a look at my W2? 

this book has the real truth about Jesus,

this book was horrible,

I’m tired of you white people,

Is October 12 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day?

Sorry I don’t talk to minorities,

WHERE’S THE NEAREST URGENT CARE?

Do y’all have a typewriter I can use?

I shouldn’t have to pay for overdue fees

because the sex scenes in Deadpool offended me,

why do you allow this filth in the library,

we need your time sheet if you wanna get

paid this Friday, you didn’t fill out a sick

leave slip for the seventh, the computer

won’t let me print,

copy and paste,

print a Youtube video,

that library card account with the overdue

fees isn’t for me, that’s my cousin’s

(with the same name, birthday, address…)

no, actually you can get Ebola from touching

someone’s hand, I know these things,

Let me speak to the manager you don’t

Know what you’re talking about/you’re lying

okay do you have this book instead,

can you double check if it’s really gone,

the trainee has another question…

 

–Never mind, y’all need to go home now.

 

Note: Based on a true story, all three years of working at a library in prose.