Finding x

The funny thing about x
is that one moment it’s found
only to go missing the next time around.

Part I

My grandmother found x in a man
who puffed and puffed and shook her bones
with his voice. He grabbed her by the ribs
and said he was taking back what God had stole.
She saw the equation solved and complicated again
every time he said he loved her.
She could never tell who he was saying it to.

Part II

My mother found x in her children.
The x comes in infrequent, but savory scraps
of mothers-day cards and kisses goodnight.
But when our x is so faithless, I think she goes
looking in the Christian radio station.

Part IV
My sister found x in herself when she said
she’d never let another man touch her.
My grandmother laughed and cried that night.
She knows that x in our hands and hearts is like
finding x in candles that will always need to be
replaced and relit.

Part V

I found x in a Sunday service.
It was at the alter where I cried
and didn’t know who I was mourning.
It was underneath the pews.
It was in the stained-glass portrait
of a man who could’ve been my friend
if only he was around more often.
The funny thing about God is that I thought I found Him,
only for him to go missing from His tomb.


Between First Avenue and Bedford

I’ve been riding this train
for a very long time now,
much longer than the woman
who just got on. While all stand clear,
the doors close, and we
are locked in this silver eel together.
It is two minutes beneath the East
River until the next stop and I feel
the pressure pounding, my ears popping,
and her eyes perusing the train
as if it is her first time. She has goldfish eyes.
They are wide and forgetful eyes. 
Dark and beautifully unforgettable eyes.
This journey will always be new for her.
I think of talking to her, ask her what
book she’s reading. But all my thought
drift upward like hot air, and seep through
the cement and cement to drown, unheard,
in the East River.

As the train arrives at Bedford Avenue,
I am tired and the train lulls me to sleep.
My eye close like a camera lens,
but no photo for memory is saved.
When I wake up, she is gone. But,
I know tomorrow she’ll be back with those
glassy refreshing eyes. God’s most beautiful
anointment, those youthful Goldfish eyes.

New York in Short

after the night has ended, before

the sun rises I sit and think about

believing. something, anything to believe.

stories like my own, told by someone

who can tell them better than I can.

everyone else has long gone home,

likely sleeping off the memories

of bad jokes and misunderstandings

quiet quarrels, fighting words

wisely left deep in the throat.

but I am awake with the cricket,

with the moon whose crater filled

face reminds me of the boulders

in central park. I’ve never been

but I wouldn’t mind going. Earth

science taught me that they were

dropped by glaciers during the ice age,

an unwanted child, left on the steps

of a church it would help build.

there are so many unwanted ones

in new york. outcasts from one place

or another looking to build their temple

in the sand, where it may unscramble

the riddles of piety. where it may

crumble to the satisfaction of

its attendants, releasing all the

mystery of mysticism that

the orthodox would follow.

tearing the labels of the label maker

is the birthright of those who

have been reborn in exodus.

baptized in exile, who have refused

to be exercised of their demons.

because what is a demon?

is it not the forgotten child,

carrying its message long

after the glacier has melted?

is it not the outcast, left to clean

the nails from Calvary and going home

with his nails painted red;

his hands, drenched in salvation.

Prayer for the Giver (Spoken Word)

My mom says I’m a giver.

That my charity is a strength.

Like the ability to give

pieces of myself away, wrapped like gifts

is a gift, from God, in and of itself.

Like making loaves and fishes

of my body to feed an undeserving nation

is worthy of applause. This is not a miracle,

it’s a burden. Christ, born from a virgin,

made loaves and fishes, a bit like me.

But I’m not like him, he hung on a tree.

I’m just a boy from NYC.

Thats right, I’m NYC

Not Your Christ

so don’t look at me

like a I owe my life.

You undeserving nation

You ungrateful child

You unenlightened people,

I will not be your communion wafer,

distributed to everyone like welfare checks.

I will not be your wine.

Do not think, drinking the blood of a giver

makes you any better. You are still,

ungrateful. You are still impure.

You do not deserve this feast.

But neither do I. I do not deserve this body.

I do not deserve my voice.

I do not deserve any of this.

And why should I keep,

what wasn’t mine to begin with?

Elegy For God

In the beginning God created

the heavens and the Earth.
The animals and us. He called us man

and woman. We were the chosen

inheritors of his kingdom,

of his work and of his blessing.

We named the animals we tended.

He named himself God.

He could’ve chosen the swine

Or the goose. They would’ve named us


I don’t know why,

He called himself God.

What did “God” mean?

Sometimes I bury myself

in ashes for hours to think about it.

Pretend I am Pompeii

And stare up, to the ash cloud.

God why would you do this,

I can see fire, but it does not trouble me.

I have no way to save my life

from pure, sickly ash

and its long fingers

protruding from no hands.

At one time I feared God.

I feared his bare feet walking

in fire and wood.

Fires were too untamable,

and felt like they would rip me

and my faith, my fig leaves.

He sharpened swords on my head

never slicing every hair

but shredding every cell.

He called me man, I called him God.

He called me son, I called him father.

He called my chosen, I called him given.

Given like goody bags full of ash

to bury myself into,

Deeper and deeper.

Finding Vesuvius among my company

and destroyed houses

and fire, fires without shoes.

Oh how they burn into my soles

Soles who have walked too far

become canyons of skin and apples.

Canyons  of universes and dark matter

where herds may run through me

to new plains. And as they run, I know

I was not the first canyon.

I stand up from my ash blankets,

and I do not brush myself off.

There are no stars,

no broken glass

no faith and fire walkers.

I never acknowledged

the existence of ghost. But oceans

of belief proves they are real.

Man can save himself from death.

Vesuvius will not decide for me

and will not bury me alive for hours.

I will bury myself alongside fire walkers

and Gods.

And the swine and geese will call me