Poem #1

It Takes More Than Hunger, To Gather Food, and Bring it Home…


at Family and Social Services Administration, 7 July 2015


Grief starves veranos:
one prayer for sustenance
this woman outgoes.


Out of the haiku,
regret stacks upon regret
in the summer heat–
but if you look outside these
windows, you find what?
I learn this in the form of
seasons from Japan:
regret of the rain.
The feeling is in the clouds:
their color of gray.


The Queen of Swords knows this disturbance:
the current from begging to labor, to hold
a symbol of fortune, we, the people, will work till we are old;
we worship at the temple of a bank, where this god finds repose.
This can’t be the final thought on prosperity–
the ulcer my stomach shows.


One proletariat–one drone from a hive for the bee–
stands at confession for her bourgeoisie.
This other shrine–erect to proclaim the regime’s charity–
would pay her grocer; yet, today, today is not the day,
the receipt not stamped, the food and cart will stay.
Have you ever been the butt-end of the checkout isle,
searching your pockets for a quarter, when you knew very well,
it takes more than hunger to gather food, and bring it home?


Lords, lovers, over her shoulder, you abandoned her.
How coldly she faces toward the past,
obliterated to her left, her face becomes laundry on a line, cast
as wet and hanging. As a fetus, before we were born into the world,


yet without our empirical umbilical cords
to feed us, one and all, you have to fight for what you desire
at the counter with a cacophony and clash of swords.
A stranger listens to her words.


Food, the lady needs food.
Anger swells, sweats, and cries from her pores.
The colors are blue, red, yellow, black, and orange
decaying, decaying.


As she faces the right, or the future,
the conversation goes south.
Her wallet is projectile.
It almost hits a stranger in the mouth,


sitting at seats facing the counter.
She is a child throwing stones.
She is starving. Who deserves to live? Who deserves to die?
Who decides who eats?


Who decides who starves?
What decision needs be made?
Whom is the judge?


As well, without the food I seek, without the food you seek,
the stomach burns with no more words to speak.
The acids from their stomach leak.
My vomit is blood, my vomit is bleak.


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