Watching the News

Two lungs to swell in the moment
Two hands to ball up or raise
depending how I feel.
Two feet to carry me to the front lines.
Two eyes to witness interesting times.
Two ears to listen for a battle cry
or the storm that’ll carry us all to sea.
Ten fingers to count transgressions.
One heart that pumps.
It’s pumping.

Two watering eyes.
Two ears tuned to the right channel.
Two nostrils flaring like a bull.
One drummer boys heart.
Lips, open! Open up!
It’s me! Do something!
Silence and my heart
slows to a deadly march.

Black Grandfather

My family has this tradition
of giving from generation to generation
clocks. These gears that have ground for centuries
are losing seconds every minute. The hands
clasp around each other: a moment
of peaceful prayer
or lonely longing.
These are the minutes of our grandfather
clocks. The gears are ground to nothing
but gums and blackened teeth.
Its feet are rotting away beneath it.
Its chest collapses in on itself.
It can’t remember the time.
Or the year. Or itself.
I don’t want the grandfather
who can’t tell its story.
Where it’s been. It only
shows me that elegance
is the epitome of stupidity
because even the fine grooves
have faded. They are deeper and less
refined. They entrap an idle tongue
and immobile eyes. These
are the minutes of my grandfather,
when he was given to me
and thus was mine to give.

Lillies and Orchids

When he told her to open
she unfolded two flowers before him.
A lily and pink orchid.

And when he told her to rise,
she gave him a mountain to stand on.
A city on the hill.


She gave him a cliff, and a view.
She let him drink her veins
and sell her soul.


She didn’t scream too loud
when he dug into her heart,
before asking for it.

When he says bleed,
she pours black blood into
his broken palms.

When she says stop,
he leaves. She blooms
new carnations for him.

When he says she’s empty,
she’s dry. He leaves.
her veins erupt volcanos under him.

He keeps saying open,
and takes the orchid.
Gives it to his family.

She is a mistress of mourning.
She is a justice’s widow.
She, our lovely concubine.

We drill those mountains.
Harvest those veins.
Abuse those grounds.

I said open,
and she unfolded two flowers before me,
I’m taking two lilies home to mom.

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?

Half-Light

Between sunrise and sunset,

I don’t know what draws me closer.

The thought that now will eventually be

then or that my then, can never be now

again. You see, I’ve made too many mistakes

to let one slip again, so I’d like to turn back the clock.

I want to take a jar and fill it with my mistakes,

like fireflies, trapped for their own good. But now,

its too late for these lightning bugs. But even caged bug refuse to be

anything less than shining and bright. They were once closer,

to God and good, and forgiveness, closer than I was. So now,

I let these fireflies go, I can’t keep them here.

If I did, they would die an unholy death, haunting me.

So I’ll release them, in the time where they can clearly be seen:

a time between sunset and sunrise.

Cheering Up The Class (Prose Poem)

She looked upset, and he hated that. So he put one hand on each side of her abdomen and forced his hands to convulse. As soon as he fingers convulsed, so did her body, in a seizure of screams. It sounds like she would start the word “Help” and never finish it, over and over again. “He- He- He-”. She screamed so much. Everybody around her smiled and screamed along. She had the prettiest scream of them all.