How No One Buries Someone

When they knew someone was dying

they called each person who had ever loved someone

and told them to come to someone’s side

and that whatever they’d taken from someone 

they should return 

and each put something next to someone’s bed

a lock of hair

a box of matches

a note

a shard of glass

an old book

a mixtape

an empty bottle

and so when someone died

no one had anything left that belonged to someone else

and no one was sad

at all.

Dad,

It’s the future
But we haven’t worked out a way to move ourselves out of our bodies
So I’m still a little sad

I’m going to listen to everyone patiently today
And be kind and gentle and wise when they’re quiet
And make people smile every chance I get
And try to be stronger than I am

I still don’t know how you sat at the backdoor
And looked out at the backyard like it was endless
How you’d love the three of us
In the different ways we needed to be loved

I just remember how you’d sit in the light in a comfortable silence
I don’t remember all the jokes but that’s ok
I still remember how you’d laugh
And what that sounded like

I’ll take the roof off the car later
And drive somewhere nice

You’ve been gone a year now
But I’m going to spend today with you

I’ll be a better, stronger man tomorrow
Just not today

Suicide Is A Sin

She walks up to the counter

in her fucked-up skirt

and her fucked-up leggings

and her fucked-up Doc Martins

and points at each of the packs of cigarettes

“How much tar in that one?”

“And this one?”

“Does that one have filters?”

“I’m not a used car salesman, pick a pack of cigarettes and

get out.”

“I’m still not sure,” she says, she’s got her finger on her cupid’s bow.

She leans over and says, “Just tell me which one will kill me the fastest.”

The shopkeeper shakes his head and throws her a pack of Texan Plain.

Years later she marvels at how she doesn’t get change for the note she slides

across the counter.

Years later she marvels at how she needs two notes instead of one

to buy the same pack of Texan Plain.

Years later she’s upset and confused and alone and she hates herself but the person she hates the most

is the shopkeeper

and all his stupid, fucked-up broken promises.

A Giant Mirror In The Desert

Now’s the time to hate who you want to hate.

We can hate the people who killed people.

We can hate the people who provoked the people who killed people.

We can hate the injustice of it all.

We can hate the people who say “They had it coming” and we can hate the people who say, “It doesn’t sound like you have much faith in your religion if it can be toppled by a cartoon.”

We can hate the media for circling it for days like vultures circling a rotting carcass.

We can hate the media who don’t cover the things we want them to cover.

We can all hate everyone we need to hate for a while.

We can hate the moderates, the politically correct and the apologists who allowed this to happen.

We can hate the extremists and the diehards and the people who refuse to see anything differently.

We can hate the people who are trying to make it about something other than what it is.

We can hate the people who are for the guns that killed people.

We can hate the people who are against the guns those who died could’ve protected themselves with.

We can hate those who find hate as an answer before we’ve even asked the question.

“What are you in highschool you fucking jerkoff, go write another poem you faggot or put your fucking boots on and learn to hate.”

Because hate is comfortable, like an old chair you know and love.

You can put hate on like a pair of Levi’s you’ve had forever.

“What kind of pussy are you for not hating someone at a time like this.”

Hate like a river that flows to many fields.

Hate like a flower that blooms in your heart.

“Let’s bomb the fucking desert into glass and make a mirror so big you could hold it up to God’s face and scream

Look at what you’ve done.

Look at what you’ve done.”

And if we hate enough and we’re lucky, he’ll send an angel to tell us who was right.

But it was you.

You were always right.

He’ll say each of us is a universe.

He will lean down and take your face in his hands and whisper it again and again.

“It was always you.

You were always right.”

My child, you will weep, for all the hate, you love.

Love, Audi

I have trouble saying my own name and yet no trouble saying yours.

I would call things and people by different names, we all would, if we could.

We all do when we’re inside ourselves.

I never really learnt how to say it and

whenever I give my name to the pizza place there’s always a question mark at the end of it

I am expecting them to say, “What?”

But I still brush my teeth every morning because I want to be a better person.

(We all measure happiness in displacement, by what gaps the things that leave us, leave)

(Try to try more times than you fail)

There’re so many stupid conferences you can go to

to learn how to sell stupid things to stupid people.

Everyone’s profile picture is just them with a shit-eating-grin

I don’t know what else it should be.

Maybe a picture of themselves with the thing that hurt them

so often the thing that hurts you is the thing that makes you human.

As you get older you miss people you didn’t think you would

that one popular kid from high school has had a child

(we were all kids once)

and you think, “Good for him.”

The guy who made my iPhone probably killed himself

I wonder if his ghost listens to my calls.

If he sends morse code messages over

the static on the line

if the call drops

he probably just doesn’t like what I’m saying.

None of us are so brave anymore.

Not because misery loves company

but because misery is so comfortable.

They’re building cars that drive themselves

one day a car will shoot itself in the bonnet

it’ll send a text to your smartwatch that says

“I’m so sorry, goodbye.

Love, Audi.”