before touching the door
a kiss to my cheek
be safe leaping out my throat
off they go alone
maybe with friends it will be dark later
at the stadium, at school, at the mall, at the fair, on the street,
alone, with your friends, in the city, in the suburbs, in the building,
at the theater, on the road, at the beach, at his house, at her house,
at the airport, on the plane, on the bus, on the boat, in the Uber, in the lake, on the river . . .
a magnificent bubble shielding their human flesh
a bulletproof amulet delivering them unscathed
we know, you don’t have to tell us every time
yea, I do
I Will Die at the Right Time
At this rate, there will be nothing left for my children. Too much
falling outside the body. A two-headed llama with no head
belonging to me.
all to them
unintentionally by them
Losing ability to see value by which aging matters. Watching
bone-slow deterioration. Using my frame to anchor relations.
Trying to deduce life’s meaning–endgame research.
Sowing seeds of pain in backward gardens planted with wrinkling flesh,
falling from porous skeletons.
fire, grace, motion, lightning
without remorse from each sunrise.
The silver-edge moon no longer sensual,
goading their last warm breaths.
Not doing this to my flesh and blood.
I will die at the right time.
acrylic painting done a few years ago
When I think of my children going into the world, I find myself championing humanity. I pray we never cease believing this: we are so much stronger than these acts of violence that steal innocent life and try to rip away our collective compassion for one another