when hope forgets to float

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a rant. for darrell.

you once asked, if
texas was as biiiiiig as new orleans
and i laughed because, well,
even my children would find that question funny.
i didnt realize you were serious at first
and soon that laughter turned to
sadness. and that sadness turned to
tears. and those tears cried this poem.
for you.

when hope died
it left behind an orphan
suffered unto him the paths
that lead down criss-crossed hallways
past security check-points
and into darkened boxes
where daylight is measured in staccato blinking
of flourescent lights
that turn even the darkest skin sallow.

vagabond man
with passport stamps
that tattoo the past to your future
H.O.D., broad street, tallulah, st. gabriel,
boy, you have traveled
so much your soul
it must have blisters.
because there is no rest in worlds where
sanity is parceled out
in rations that leave bellies
riddled up and empty
fetal position
back to walls
in quiet hours when
peace is pierced by
low moans and solemn cries
allowed only to leak out
when darkness shrouds the faces
full of fear.

you carry these walls within your blood
and weep in silence
on tiers that do not allow for weakness
and i cry wet tears for you
hoping for some ablution
that will replace your numbness
with life

but what life is left for you now?
your name translated to numbers
so many times it seems
is a figment of imagination
grasped at by calloused hands
that carry nothing
but dirt worn deep into the grooves
strong hands that could build castles
able hands that could move mountains
but instead these hands
grip pens to fit yourself
into tiny boxes once more


no ID to prove your name
because you need ID to get ID
but if you had ID you wouldnt need ID
leaving you with unanswered questions
where's the sense
in this

replayed each time
you stray too far
from what has now become defined as home
reduced to
the product of an inverse pandora
by hands that seek to force
society's ills
that we wish not to see
back into tiny boxes
that leave no room for hope.

and selfishly
i want you to be angry.
to ball fist and raise voice in rage
against a rehabilitation machine
designed to produce addicts
of conformity

but anger has no space
in worlds dictated by boundaries
of 12' by 8'
and so i write you poems
on my own 8" by 12"
and leave doors unlocked
in case you
ever happen to find
your way back

*common, the questions

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