STILL, QUIET DAY

The day is still, this still day
This still, quiet, overcast, near drizzling day
It doesn’t feel like late summer, nor early fall
Just a pause, a cessation in turmoil
Chaos suspended, quiet, all day quiet, striking quiet in my life
Relief I can’t fully breathe in
I heard children playing outside, today
I drove through the overcast, quiet day, running errands
Swedish Crepes at IHop, a new SIM card for my iPhone
I don’t feel the season, but endure the heat
My apartment is hard to sit in with but a floor fan
It appears they evicted the gang from my condo complex
There is plywood behind the shut-up sliding glass balcony door, windows
I don’t see that guy who threw things and hollered obscenities all night
Hip-hop blaring from his apartment at 3AM, now boarded up
The Asian family next my apartment must have moved in with relatives
We parked on the street since he broke into Hans’ Dakota pickup, twice
I don’t know if I can recover to the way things were
Not after all that, the way things had been, the way things are
Though not for me, now, but for someone, the police
I don’t know what to do with this quiet

NOVEMBER 2, 2020

The love poem I want to write tonight is superseded

Everything is superseded by a microdot on a piece of paper

A microdot in a timeline of chaos, flashpoint in history

In one single day, the anxiety will culminate in a vote

Four years of conflicted administration, conflicted nation

That broke out in outright civil war, bloody war

Wounds that haven’t healed in one hundred sixty years,

An outbreak breaking out in protests, riots, civil speech exhausted

Wealth disparity, despair, disinformation, lies

Pandemic denied in a pantomime economy

Destined for collapse through dying workers, denied workers

Dying jobs markets, dying for relief from a dead congress

All summed up in a microdot on a piece of paper

Destined for the ballot box—summation but not salvation

For the sins of our forefathers, writ into racial blood,

Radical divide, denied equal opportunity

EQUALITY

Fragmenting a national illusion persisting in a culture of cruelty

For outsiders, inside the inner-city blight in a nation

Of freedom for insiders, a segregation of insiders, by insiders, for insiders

White trashed lives whose sway they aim to own, even my own life

Had I not left town they would have kept me down, destined to be an outsider

Like my music partner from New Orleans who never did break in

I can’t leave all this undone, unsung—this division, this decision

In a pantomime economy, in a pandemic, in a microdot on a piece of paper

Just a microdot in a timeline of chaos