more money …

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than god, they say
and it feels good

doing good deeds
giving and helping and building

good people
with good homes
and good children
good clothes
good food
and good manners

good people

“but are you happy?” they ask

hell, yes

two from two

look at them
older then we were when we met
when i pulled your hair
when you laughed at me falling off the swing

i remember the day you went away
to marry the tall boy who played football
you seemed happier then

happier than the night we met
five years ago
happier than when we met again a year later

tell me
does the tall boy who played football
know that they are mine?

blues & blood

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like the blues
you get inside me
under my skin

you pull the veins around my heart

you touch muscle behind my eyes
and tear at the synapses that connect me
to you

you prod my thoughts
about love
and life
about where i am

you push all i believe
to the outside
and allow me to examine
to judge
to decide

and i do decide

not you

the blues belong to everyone

run away

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who wouldn’t?
life on the road
always moving
never in one place for too long
no memories that last

who wouldn’t?

but …

one day
some day
i’ll return to you

with roses

how long, o lord?

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every night
he reads me the story
of jesus

after dinner
before we sleep
we sit by the fire and
he reads me the story
of jesus

and we pray
(he prays)
out loud
to god
and thanks him for everything

he takes my tired hands
in his tired hands
and we pray
(he prays)
out loud
to god

“thank you,
for everything”

and silently
with unspoken words
i pray, too

“dear jesus,
take this man”

dig

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the man said, “dig”
so we dig
six feet down

the earth is cold
and wet

(the man said, “one dollar each”)

the shovels are heavy
and it’s dark by the time we finish
digging the hole

“done, mister,” eddie says

“not yet,” the man says

he tells us to go back to the truck
and get the burlap sack

“what’ll we sit on on the way back?” johnny asks

“you’ll take the train”

johnny and I look at eddie

eddie drops his shovel
and starts walking back to the truck
johnny and I put down our shovels
and hurry to catch up

at the truck
johnny and I grab one side of the sack
and eddie grabs the other

we pull the sack out of the truck
and it hits the ground with a thud
(it’s heavier than it looks)

we drag it over to where
we dug the hole

“roll it into the hole,” the man says

our arms are tired from the digging
and the dragging
but we manage to push the sack
into the hole

“now, cover it up”

we pick-up the shovels
and start dumping the muddy dirt back into the hole

(i don’t have a lot of muscles
not like eddie
but all the ones I do have hurt)

“done, mister,” eddie says

“done,” the man says

the man takes three dollars
out of his pants pocket
and gives it to eddie

we watch the man as he walks back to the truck
we watch him get in
we watch him drive away

one dollar
each

and he left the shovels

a hat needs a head

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soon

don’t cry, my lovely one
my flesh, my bone
my beating heart

don’t wail, and flail, and beat your fists against the sky

don’t think of him
don’t remember his lips whispering
warm dreams into your ear

don’t think of days in the fields
grass pressed against your naked back

the sound of him
the weight of him
the scent of cold metal and rust

don’t remember him

“I’ll be home
soon”

haystack

the three of us
old friends
from the old school
members of
the same club
the same class
the same secret society

spending our days
walking the streets of the old town
together
tipping our hats in unison
as pretty women pass us by

the three of us

sat together at noon
as we eat our lunch
on the grass outside the savings and loan
where we work
and where we whisper
of a shared future

working the hours
investing the earnings
building the empire

the three of us

together

and no one knows
that we share
the same house
the same rooms
the same bed

the three of us

old friends

straw hats burn easily

the stars only shine at night

you are the only one
to see me here

such a pretty boy

your voice sings words
like a van gogh painting

take me down to the water
bathe me in the swirling blues and grays
push me down
cover me
leave me

such a pretty boy