I said thank you God
and almost believed it,
then a woman in a riot stole
toilet paper and paper towels
instead of a TV or cell phones
and a radio DJ made fun of her;
you cretin, paper products
aren’t a benefit of SNAP
plus you don’t even know
how to pronounce “judgmental.”
But really it’s not so much that I want
to preach to the choir
it’s just that I hope there is a choir
and it doesn’t necessarily have to sing
but more, hear, and it would be good
if the choir knew what it was like to be on food stamps.
I don’t blame her for stealing
I’ve done it; taken toilet
paper rolls from the beach bathroom.
A woman in a park
swung her dead child for three nights.
I stay up till midnight
to instantly win a new grill
but what I really want is the free
trip to Hawaii.
I love Hawaiian rolls,
they’re so darn sweet.
I hear Hawaii is no paradise,
the flying cockroaches,
but that flowery blue ginger
is like a purple heaven-bird.
I had a patient from Palau and that chick
was nuts but sweet like an Almond Joy.
The Pacific must do something
to create some chaos effect.
Maybe it’s floating radiation.
Maybe it’s crawling disappearances.
Maybe they just want their spoons
to not tarnish so quickly.
My daughter is upset because she didn’t get a picture
of the prison’s pristine garden as we drove by.
Sometimes we see basketball players in the yard,
nuclear white in uniform.
All it takes is one person
to describe you as mediocre.
You lie still and dull-colored
and think of that squealing skinned-alive rabbit.
Lie still and remember the way the Italian pines
shushed and curtained just for you
because you were only Italian back then and the fortresses
you built were in your backyard and not in your mind.
Peel off a vegetable’s vitamin skin,
your stone-thrown Medusa
snake hair only gray and soft wires.
Peel off another month
on a Japanese woodblock-print calendar.
Cherries still blossom. Warriors float.