Young

I can tell you how many points LeBron scored last night
or who won the World Series,
but I can’t fix the leaking faucet in the bathroom,
won’t mow the lawn if not overgrown.

I don’t change the oil in my Ford
nor bring home a solid paycheck–
but I will live in an apartment
to avoid responsibility.

I’ll pay lots of money to tell
a landlord I can’t do it.

I’ve already lived in a car to avoid the responsibility
of telling a landlord I can’t do it.

I didn’t know how to fix it when it broke down,
and a Samaritan changed my flat tire when I burst it
when turning into a potholed Burger King lot
and I claimed I was about to fix it.

He told me not to pay more than twenty-five dollars for a used tire–
no more than twenty-five dollars, and get the rim hammered out
for free!

I went to the tire shop and paid their thirty-five to avoid conflict.
Wordlessly they stopped eastbound traffic on Pico
and I backed away and left.

One thing I can do well is parallel park,
as if reverse-navigation is worth bragging about

but I’ll take it.

No one has the courage to fit inside this small space.
No one can fit inside here but me

 

(originally published in Literary Yard, Winter 2018)

Lethargy

A butterknife has potential.
Voila! Cream cheese

on an everything
bagel.

The microwave beeps.
The ceiling fan spins.

Onions brown
at the bottom of the fridge.

Throw out the bag.
Then throw out that bag.

Swiffer shoeprints
off the floor.

Take your shoes off
next time.

Catch the mouse before
it multiplies

though you know
that means to snap

its neck.
So don’t.

Summon all the light
you can.

 

(originally published in DMQ Review, Summer 2017; featured later as a Verse Daily “Web Weekly Feature” the week of July 24, 2017)