Recently released from incarceration,
men, some still boys, gather
at the Safe House
to keep warm,
sip hot coffee,
talk and listen freely, or just
Neil provides opportunities to
Most cannot break the cycle
of their lives.
Many are too far removed from
Bo comes once a week
bringing canvases, acrylics, and brushes.
None are too far removed
in this house, now a home,
where the art is.
A single lava lamp
sends thousands of
sparkles dancing around the
tired off-white walls
splashing colorful primary-color dots
on cast aside
while the lovers’ passions
pulsing with the sounds
of Carter-Lewis and the Southerners
The bachelor for the show has finally been found!
Twenty-five eager young women his way are bound.
On the first night they all meet;
with a kiss, each one he greets.
After all twenty-five introductions are done,
the handsome bachelor begins to have fun.
They talk. They drink.
They smile. They wink.
Conversation vignettes are scripted and edited in
with girls whose names are Tiffany and Brandilynn.
Words repeated such as amazing and awesome
are swiftly planted, fertilized, and blossom.
For the next ten weeks from eight until ten
I am glued to my TV, waiting for someone to “win.”
A solitary bell repetitively clangs
outside the superstore’s automatic doors.
Standing stoically, a bored Santa,
skinny and beardless,
to the endless salvo of the repeated tone.
The red kettle, slick with settled moisture,
collects compassion coins
from the fortunate
eager to hurry inside and spread comfort,
out of necessity,
on the unnecessary.
lost in sheep clothing
the wolf hidden in the folds
howls to be displayed
we do part
forward thirty-five years
after vows of perfection
the thought of two people
living in perfect harmony
we do part
is, well, absurd
Among the seasoned helpless
From the circuitous path
That is a family in addiction
There is no anyong
As she shares
A story too sad not to be true
Most are silent
Eyes cast downward
No advice is offered
No cure is proffered
Only a circled prayer recited
With a hug until we gather again