This Ain’t Livin’


They all live for cigarette breaks
and half hour lunches
where the sound of change
and empty bags
fill the spaces
between sighs
and hopeless musings
about cars they’ll never buy
and places they can’t go
while they check the time
and hold their breath
this ain’t livin’, God. This ain’t livin’

Parents with full-time jobs
they take up for their kids
who they never get to see
because they’re chasing clocks
and coming home
with pockets full of overtime
and broken backs and dreams
coming home to sleeping lovers
who forgot the taste
of good morning and goodnight
staring at bills plastered
on an empty fridge
they know they can’t fill this week
this ain’t livin’, God. This ain’t livin’

They try ignoring the old man
under the construction tent
with the broken smile
whose greetings are all laced with honey
his hand is never outstretched and he never holds a sign
but they know enough to feel a sense of shame
crawling up and down their skin
so they hide away behind fake phone calls
just until he’s out of view
so they can go back to work
where they’re a pay check away
from living under construction tents
watching strangers make phone calls
this ain’t livin’, God. This ain’t livin’

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The Traveller

no thumb

I’m waiting
in a seat across the road
somewhere far away
legs swaying
and fingers dancing through my hair
watching the world happen
as though I’ve opened a book midway –
reading the story of people madly dislocated from one another
roaming in search of something
that will make them feel

They carry storms
that they hide away in the linings of their pockets
and they’ve gotten used to flowers that never bloom
because they’ve taken all the rain
to feed their loneliness
while they bend and fold their hands and bodies
like vines that can’t escape the process of braiding
for fear that they may stop climbing

They touch with lips that say nothing
while building dreams
out of wax and anxiousness
molded into castles that kiss the heavens
and when sunrise comes
it all unravels
and still
they’ll try to sew their world back together
with thread made of longing
running them like veins
across their hearts
and still
they’ll try
like Icarus –
even if they drown
at least they’ll drown together.

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no thumb

language is the ground beneath me
that trembles
and the aching that builds in my soles
as though i’ve been running across fire
and rows of teeth
it is grief
at a tongue that dances
and rolls
but refuses to lay still
it is leaving the garden
with?roots twisted
and searching for a?spot of earth
that will let me breathe
if only for a moment
in the words that i call home.

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