Gloria remix

young man 
on the edge of the floor 
at studio 54
where the girls dance in sea foam
synthetic silks
circled by men in iridescent suits 

no need to feel down
a baby in the round
the building of a tower
tenants swimming in shit and cold water

the voices in his head
recall a time of expensive hamburgers
opulence and AIDS 
just before
teenage boys
dissolve into the ink
of The Daily News

young man
cemented in 1982
gloria
is just a girl and
she says
everybody wants you
hangin' on a line


Ashli Babbitt

Ashli Babbitt climbs
a suicide
extinguisher

frienemy
ripples
the surface of a year

Ashli Babbitt drives
shouldering
stories in her sack

freedom
persecution
the border is a mess

Ashli Babbitt dives
backwards
reality is a lie

Dark to light! 
God knows, god sees 
and he is incoming! 



Your First Lady

my heart goes out
looking
found a passion
salacious gossip
honor and accusations
against me
the promise of our future
make no mistake
you are the backbone 
let us remember
you are the people 
who turn to violence
make the United States of America 
what it is




I turned on today

Chickens, with their heads cut off. 

boxes 

chorus: Fight! Fight! Fight!

guts guts guts

He fights, and I’ll tell you. 
He has the absolute right to do it. 

They want it back. 

the happiest people
extraordinary love, amazing movement 

Chorus: Love! Love! Love!

Flip those cameras and look behind you. 

monuments
gathered together 
out there fighting the House. 

You’re the real people. 

America last. 

Unbelievable, what we go through. 

primary hell 
China virus and scam 
brazen and outrageous 
never been anything like this.
evening or early in the morning
boom, these explosions
                                                   of bullshit, all of a sudden. 

Who was the victor? 
He got slaughtered probably, maybe it was okay. 

dirty business 
let everyone flow in flow in

Our brightest days are before us, our greatest achievements still wait. 
Something’s wrong here. Something’s really wrong. 

So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. 

I know how you feel

I know your pain
I know your hurt

It was stolen from us

You have to go home now
We have to have peace
We have to have law

order

time

a thing happened
have to have
anybody hurt

see what happens
they could take it away

so bad 

the way others
are so bad and so evil

I know your hurt
I know your pain
I know your hurt

go home

great people





praise and worship center

she opens the door as if emerging from sleep
she tried to vote early but her ride never showed

my eyes drift to her hand
resting on a pregnant belly
behind her I see her husband
laying on the floor
with their little son

a new citizen
this is her first election
only voter in the house

we call
a union member
Local 11

someone to open the door
extend a hand to her
when she steps out of the car

someone to walk with her
to the polling center
and drive her home

we wait together on the steps
her son plays with my shield
and widens his ludic orbit

he jumps
bounces
springs

and then her chariot pulls up
a young man smiles 
and takes her to vote

 







teenage voter

I find him, tall and lanky, 
unloading a truck with his Dad
who looks at me sideways
I am hoping to talk to —

He's on our books as a Democrat.
But the father is not.

To talk to the teenage voter
I have to get around this man

I make myself small
Just following up to make sure—

the son comes closer 
I give him the rap

turns out he's already dropped
his ballot off

Oh that's great!

I run down
our list of candidates and ask: 

Can we count on your support?

No. 

I can see his Dad's eyes on him
he can feel them on his back.
I can't tell— is he proud 
or ashamed?




Kamela

The Libertarian asks
what I think of Kamela

and what she said about Biden
in the debate

I do not believe you 
are a racist, she said

before taking him apart
for cozying up with segregationists

I say 
I am behind the criticism of his policies—
 
how can I support Biden,
he interjects, if he's a racist?

I've been down this road before
with the guy energized by the discovery

that people on the left vote
for racists

as if that makes me and him
the same

there are moments in history, she said 
when states fail to preserve the civil rights of all people

I forget to pivot
to the story of the racism we share

I return to local candidates 
running on conviction and compassion 

but he prefers to crow over
my hypocrisy 

for a few minutes, sitting with him on his porch,
I am lost

it feels like I am arguing with a man 
who want to fuck the people who bother him

I take him in, bearded 
motorcycle lover with a good belly

living in a comfortable suburban home
in an all-but-gated community

an answer to a question that was lingering
in my head

Kamela
and that little girl was me.