I’ve got to get out-
Detecting metal with my jaw
On duty assigned during
My role has changed without my consent.
Safe word ignored,
My boundaries are blown through
So now all I’m surrounded by is
Still at the mercy of a
Ghetto suburban mortgage,
I show up-
At least in person,
Scribbling sonnets on pay stubs,
Doing anything to keep my pen
My adult life is swallowing me whole-
So I sit in it’s womb and
Scrawl on the walls,
Amniotic fluid the ink,
Writing the medium,
Chasing the next high in
I stay within the lines,
Adding to the ones becoming more
Pronounced beside my eyes
When I smile-
But I wouldn’t be a kid again
For anything in the world.
That’s when you don’t have the words
That might protect you,
So you try them all,
Speaking in a halting cadence,
Lollipop-sweet breath pleading for
They kept you safe from everyone
And this grown-up suit we don daily
Is no guarantee that we will emerge from the grind
Quite the contrary,
At times it’s a promise that
Teeth marks will appear across our jugulars like
Bone chokers made to silence the weak-
7 days to recreate your world from the
Skeleton outline you have been reduced to;
You can do it-
Just pick up the tools of the trade,
And pray it’s a fair one.
This is not what I signed on for-
Perhaps I was hearing impaired when they were
Handing out the instructions,
But mine are printed backwards and in a
Dialect I cannot access
Even when I dial collect-
The charges will be brought against me
Regardless of what avenue I take,
And the truth is I rarely know where I’m going.
My moral compass is stuck on “maybe”,
So decisions aren’t my strong suit-
I outgrew that one long ago anyway.
So here I am,
Detecting metal with my jaw wired shut,
Skipping double-dutch in a maze of beaurocracy,
Itching in this grown-up suit,
And fidgeting with responsibility.
I can’t see over the counter,
But my bills come due anyway.
I show up-
At least in person.
The rest is kept under dredlocs and key,
Hiding what is the real secret, the real treasure-