night walk


layla and her kids

sleep on a bridge

that frowns over the freeway


wrapped in blankets on a yellow slab of foam,

the baby is silent despite the sirens


cars whizz by below us

and i pass layla a smoke


so many people are off to house parties and hookups

shitty horror movies and football games,

her son jace says


he spits off the guardrail

the city put around the bridge

to stop people from jumping


it lands on a windshield

and he laughs and i laugh

and i smoke and he doesn’t


the car lessens to light

and i pretend i don’t hear jace

when he asks if joy


is a currency

we should spend

all at once


since we’re bound to be

robbed of it

one of these nights




hoop behind the church


there’s a blood stain

by the free throw line


i pick up a pebble

and toss it

at the crooked rim


i’ve never told you this

but i used to play around-the-world

every night


and i couldn’t leave the court

until i won

without chancing a single shot


the last time i went to church

i was squared up on the wing


when someone screamed from the dark

past the dumpster


a girl came rushing at me,

blood snaking down her chin


two men emerged behind her

she grabbed at my shirt

and i dropped the ball


the first man pushed her off me

and pulled me into his fist


my ears rang as i hit the street,

eyes melting down my cheek

into my mouth


the second man pounded her head

into the sidewalk curb

over and over


and i lunged to stand

but the first man pulled his gun


those minutes felt like years,

to watch someone in agony

and have to sit in their blood


she and i cried together

in the morning quiet,

waiting for the paramedics


and i held her head in my lap

as if she’d just been born




all my generation wants




is to be happy,

exist and make love

on the couch at noon


we wanna drink in lawn chairs

in the front yard after lunch


hug our parents

and eat dinner

with our kids

at night


none of my friends

will ever own a home


we’ll be lucky

to pay rent by friday,


keep ham and swiss

in the fridge

thru the weekend


i had a dream last night

i was sitting


i wasn’t doing anything else


i was just sitting

in a chair


and it was fuckin



let’s make out behind the baseball fields

in the far back of the parking lot

with our lights off


let’s explore the universe

of each other

and wade through the ravine of ourselves


we can break into the high school,

shatter the window

of one of those old classrooms

then board it right back up




there’s a war outside

so don’t turn on the lights


just lay with me on the carpet

under a desk

and we’ll grieve


for the soft spots

of youth

that taste like

old fruit,


for the orange slice


that’s dry of juice