She says i am changing
We are all changing
Copper pennies turning green
We are all oxidizing under the bacteria
She talks to me like
I am alone and crazy
Like I am infantile and infatuated
She cannot separate my saturated emotions
“Why?” I ask the walls and the ugly curtains
The air and the pollution that surrounds me,
It trenches in and burdens my already muddy masks,
stakes my tasks more curious and less courteous
“What did you say?” Her words are spilling in like star light,
too blinding, too fast
For my slow digestion, my discretions warning
and working, threatening to spill out on this cold tile floor
My feet are cold and I am staring at them
Yellow Lemons rolling on the floor, towards the open door
To the bedroom, dirty sheets and rolled jeans, old soles
I want to crawl under the bed hide from your thoughts
Rules of Spring
I sit in my black metal chair
under my tree, spring breeze and all
the kids are rowdy rough in the back
wrestling around bright ideas, I hear them like harmonies.
A young Mocking Bird is sitting on my old fence
He jumps off and steals a berry from the tree
Flying in mid-air to snatch the small blue ball
Then back to the perch eating happily
White down feathers show his age
But something else strikes me
He is not scared of me, only 5 feet away,
He is naive to us humans
He doesn’t know this animal
He doesn’t know who we are
How we hate and hurt and take and turn
everything into what we want it to be, he doesn’t know.
The clouds are scattered today like
They don’t know who is in charge
and I join the club.
Who am I to have that bird’s trust, I wonder?
I move too quickly and he spooks and flutters
Like I was so quick, so spry and light
but my 200 pound frame is better suited for
Concrete and carpentry, not midair bird catching.
The day is waning and my hands are tired
and my arms are tired and this smoke tastes good
thick tea leaves and lemon
like turmoil untwisted, I can’t resist it I know.
The bird flitters back stealing berries again
I watch for a minute, pissed, why can’t he trust me?
I yell loud like a lunatic bear and jump up running
He flies away and I sit back down, light and write.
Tom Riot was born in a small California town. He is 42 years old.