The first time I went to jail.The first timeI went to jail, I remember waitingin line. I worked in the laundry,stirring orange jumpsuitsand white sheetsin cauldrons. The colors of aflightless bird.I read the biblein the library and memorizedthe first three words ofevery chapter.And when Bellow,a black man from St. Louis,traded me a carton of cigarettesto read a letter from his daughter, I made up the words sohe would never knowhow little she cared that he was dyinga young man. How little she knew at all.Jack and I always sat in the first pewat Chapel. I'm not a Christian, or anything,but it's nice whensomebody else speaks about the goodness ofall people,and they can still believe it,even in a place like this.Jack held my handwhen we lit our candles.He said each flame was like a birthday wishto him.I said that I didn't think that was quite how it workedand later that night, he hanged himself from the top bunk.I didn't really like him that much,but it got me out of bathr
takes her lessonThe buildings were bowing as far as their lightning rods would allow them,laying their pot plant leaves before my feet,amidst the donkey's traffic grunt.I had been given my messiah,wedged between two glossy slips of cardboard.I'm too shy with strangers to say no;I gained faith thanks to the selfless persistenceof a ten year old.Except when I closed my eyesI saw only momentary multi-hued memorieson the back of my lids.But that's okay, that's okay,I had a smile on my faceand god in my hand.I opened my eyes to:eager profit prophecies dangled as neon halos,perched to guide imprudent eyes- since when were inanimate objects so attention-needy? –and I had stumbledoff number-ed pagesBut that's okay, that's okay,because once I coughed it awayI was still there with my glossy bookburning like money in my pocket.(Maybe when there are only overly ornamental churchesbuilt as architectural featrather than practical rock foundations built for bodies rather than brains,or wh
DangerousI wish forwords, thick words, deep words, words that leap like poison frogs, words that creep like tigers, sharp words, words as colourful as snakes.
Layin' the tracks.There's somethin' about jumpingfreight trains.Wind findin' hollows on your bodyyou never knew were there.Livin' right, right-side up,Lookin' forward to back where you come from.Standin' room only, watchin' thewatercolor desert wander byflickin' cactus smiles and roadrunnersalutations-like that southwest sun,pregnant and risin', whore forthe blue sky.Then there's the traveler'ssiren.She's high and sensual,wakin' me in the night, tuggin'my blanket, rubbin' my thighs,whisperin'"Don't stay too long,No.You, youcant stay too long."Restless, she's got me coming,every hour on the hour withher wail and moan.I ain't so ready to leave yet,Losin' people's faces, track of time.But I figure,you come into this world with nothin',go on and leave with nothin' just the same,and everything in between is just fun and games-if you're livin' right.God, there's just somethin' aboutjumpin'freight trains in the middle of the night.Ground spinnin' so fast, could be the sky,