before I moved to Boulder,
I developed a very good working
relationship with the Harris Teeter
in Ghent. I would do my local grocery shopping there,
pretty regularly, dividing my cart into half:
stealing that half and paying for the rest.
this is how people who have fifteen dollars
and a drinking problem live.
they neatly divide what is worth
paying for and what is worth ignoring,
letting go, stealing or conning.
when I moved to Boulder,
I developed a good working
relationship with the Whole Foods
but I cut my teeth stealing bike lights from
Target so that my partner and I
could go places at night.

I showed him how to pocket
toothpaste as mine was homemade
of bentonite clay and I am doting,
if not simply peacocking
about my bold chase of everything.
I showed him how to pocket the
Kombucha and show up to
meetings with it in hand like
it had no alcohol,
like I didn’t pocket the lip
gloss either.
when I moved to Philly,
I developed a good working
relationship with every Whole Foods
in the area.

I want to be remembered for the
ways I never died,
not for the ways my mouth
looked shut in meetings
every time an old white man
repeated an aphorism I have yet
to swallow: you are only as
sick as your secrets.

I want to be remembered as a
passing silhouette in your
night or the arms that
held you finally
so long as you know
my pockets are heavy
like chests.
so long as you
like little gifts
now and then.

suffering incursion will
change you. there are a thousand ways
to die, my head begins again.
nail in eye.
car to body.
man with fist.
I begin to count
and begin to twist the straw
in an effort to curb the brain
from going deeper, usually
the fixation begins from the most
likely place.
it was the end of February,
2014 and I lived in a rowhome
on the cusp of Port Richmond
and Kensington and knew two things:
cars don’t stop for anything here,
and neither do men.

I begin to count and organize and also
step into a dark long reverie
of a place that is warm and
seeking me, but I also begin to
count and create myth from fingers.
begin to list the ways I’ve watched the
Earth take: my aunt run over multiple
times, murdered. my eight year old cousin
died from a brain anuerysm. my uncle
shot his face off in his father’s
old house. my aunt drank her body to death.

you see I have to stop and enter
the beach seeking me.
you won’t make it otherwise
as I turn the headphones up,
just miss a truck but I can
hear the ATVS revving.
the sign says walk
but my aunt was once run over

it’s the coldest winter in years,
they tell me after meetings,
and it’s not an easy time to make friends.

“doors #2”

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