this kid took a photo of my eye today
for a series he’s working on.
he showed me the pics he’s collected so far
on his camera’s display screen;
galaxies of blue, brown, brown-green,
they looked stunning looped together.
i slam pineapple ham,
mashed potatoes and corn
into my mouth
and don’t say thank you.
i grit in anger more easily each year,
a luxury i’ve afforded myself.
you should really try it.
i’ve found even the most
express way more belief in our organizations
than i imagine they would. or should.
like we don’t need massive revolutionary reform.
i sit in on a training about lead poisoning.
this city is oozing low-quality housing stock;
the lead gets stored in your bones
in x-ray-noticeable amounts.
our delivery service for care
eats its own tail.
why do we exist? if not to take care of ourselves?
another update today was on research showing
that some alcoholics have a buildup of chemicals
in their brains just from drinking
that is a compound found in heroin.
that’s what a bitch drinking is, for some people.
our all-different bodies
react with the same universe
in remarkably varied ways.
you know, on top of
dealing with racism, sexism,
the talk where i work is about collaborating
for drugs, references to genitalia every
at-least 20 minutes, youth coming and going
constantly, jokes about shanking, doing bids
that’re worth it. we say “please can you
this girl keeps slapping her face all day,
she couldn’t feel it after the dental medication,
just for fun, to get a laugh.
it was funny – then it wasn’t.
i remember one day, this kid,
laid out like jesus on the sidewalk,
talking loud to head voices, believing.
he saw.. but he saw so serious.
that had gotten into
a small electrical access
hatch beneath the street.
the sidewalk snowplow
had knocked the lock off
the corrugated iron panels
and he was staying down there
in the winter with his
ziplocked nonsense notes
and stolen clothes.
no one knows this.
it was an article
in our newspaper,
another random mystery.
but you could see those notes
he was always writing..
now he sits in jail for some attack,
schizophrenic and refusing.
that’s our ‘systems of care.’
all i’ve seen the last 15 years
are the worst case scenarios.
i know the system’s failings best-
its failing first.
the inability to work fast enough
in all the opposite directions
that a person in need requires,
if only for a little while.
i’ve seen it get fatal.
in this way
i’ve been in the center
of life going through fusion,
the crucible moments.
i see real,
but i see real serious.
learning all this information
feels so heavy and it doesn’t stop.
when i looked at the shot of my eye today
in the camera display screen
i saw none of the fire i feel now.
it looked pretty bland
and this is slowly