And every day I’m called to choose

The paper or the plastic bag

To carry with me all my blues

Beliefs, convictions, waving flags

Of plastic. Sturdy, simple, strong

Yet thrown, discarded, left to die

Like plastic party masks, a face

Now frozen, gapes with hollow eyes

A never-rotting peace in space

Eternal laughter etched in place

I choose the paper trail. Again

And always. Soft and crumpled down

With gentle touch from mice and men

Yet gentle in embrace, its frown

Gives way to smiles and hearty mirth

So fragile, tears apart with tears

I fear it cannot last. Away

It folds and burns, and yet it feels

As I do, crumpled as I am

By other hands. Yet carry on

The carrying and caring



In the distance of an earphone

Bud, gives birth to wired vines. Stone-

Deaf, too tired for a word, but silent

Hums are easy, nodding “yes”. Not

Hearing any word she said, and

Yet it’s clear: This conversation’s end

Drifts ever near like snaking wires

In my ears. This fruit it offers

Tastes so sweet: A playlist, playing

Ever after, on repeat. Music’s praying

Twice, I’m told. Leave me to my verse

My scripture. Rewind tape and play.

Your words are honey now, my dear

But music got its venom in me first.


I’m pounding on the glass that doesn’t give

Like on your door that never opens up

Despite the hours spent on hitting, kicking, tearing up

I feel like tearing up this wall like sheets

Of paper like the bills it took from me

Each payday paid to play and pray

With lights above my head, so thankful for the bread I eat

And money left to buy these treats denied to me

Denied, like nights I cried when you were gone

Beyond the door I passed before with you

And waiting for the turn of knobs and creaking locks

While waiting for a drop of letters, maybe notes

But now I’m waiting for the drop of candy bars

Upon the metal floor, something sweet to treat

This present hunger in my gut. But,

This hunger in my heart can wait.


I draw the bowstring to my cheek

The sturdy wood. It trembles in

Excitement, like a starving wolf

That aches to pounce upon its prey

The gentle bowstring, whispering

A cry of pain. It strains to hold

This weight, this aching strain, this pain

I feel upon my tired frame

Release, a craving felt by both

The man and its machine. Release!

The arrow flies, and bow and string

Return to peaceful sleep. And I,

Still fighting, nock another shaft

There is no rest, there is no pain

There’s only me, a target, and a gain


Protean, ever changing form

And face. Conversion breaks this pace

Of dreary conversation, dulled

From worn out laughs and wrinkled lines

Perhaps to break monotony

I need to change, like currency

Thus paper paves the way to coin

And heavy is the weight I bear

And yet the value is the same


Upon the blackness I can see

The stars, the heavens, infinite

In all its beauteous majesty

Revealed to me and me alone

Forever, drifting like a stone

Cast into heartless sea, cast off

From mighty rock and land, my home

My tether. Once a convict’s chain

To hold my wings in check, I thought

I long for home. No longer trapped,

Yet seeking comfort in embrace

Caress, a kiss before I sleep

A hand that I could reach, once reached

But now as distant as the stars

That lie in wait before my eyes

What worth is heaven’s prize for me

If I must float in agony



One day, I found a wrinkled note

A worn page torn from ancient books

The ink has run, the white page gold

With age, and lined like elder brows

In hand, I take the ends and fold
Together, edges meet at last

Like long lost friends returned once more

Or lovers sharing one last kiss

Or parents wrapping in embrace

A once-lost child returning home
Again, I fold and shape and hide

The ugly wrinkles of the past

Give way to neater, newer lines

The page transforms into a plane

A tiny thing upon my hand
I cast it out into the wind

It struggles like a newborn bird

But it takes wing and soars so high

It disappears into the clouds

Who knows what message it once bore
But one last journey, one last flight

And one last glimpse of bluest sky

Is all I can provide, and nothing more