We all are too afraid to let our faces show
while we watch our our little flowers grow
in caramel colored ceramic pots
we’ve stacked in a row by the window,
we always look straight through
to the other side of the island.
There’s a donkey chewing onion grass
by the dirt road kids ride bikes down
every summer day, and the thing makes
so much noise I think it’s dying.
I smell the drinks the woman next door makes
in pitchers that she stirs while she sits
by the pool in her red bathing suit.
She’s asked me to stop by sometime
but I can’t lie she’s much too old to be
most anything but an idea to me
I parse out here for you to see
and laugh at my absurdity.
I never liked to wait in line at the pinball
machine so I would always show up
late at night when the pool tables
we’re surrounded and those blinking lights
we’re likely all my own.
After the labor riots one night though
the glass on that old cabinet was left
shattered by the weight of some old
stone someone had thrown
to show their anger.
I can understand where they’re coming from
working to death until the work is done
out there caught in the burning sun
where water is like cigarettes and candy.
I just wonder if there’s a better way
to say the things we need to say
than just by keeping things
the way they are; a chess board
no ones looked at now for ages.

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