China Town

My face is hot and my hands are numb.

I scratch at my forehead as if it removes the repugnant thoughts I think.

How can they think this is okay?

How can anyone think that this is okay?

My stomach turns over and the juice sloshes around. It is acidic and burns.

My breathing is shallow, and I try to control my lungs.

If I think too hard about breathing I forget how, and I feel like I’m drowning.

I scratch at my arms and I feel closed in.

The streets are full of people. They all want something.

They are in my personal space. My private space.

A red paper dragon flutters by my ear.

The sound is invasive and spreads into my healthy tissue.

Just a little pain will clear my mind.

Knuckles pressed into my thighs.

Slight red marks on my arms.

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My Bullshit Poem

I may have written a poem or an oddly worded story. I don’t know which it is.

A Queenryche fantasy of Chinese food
consumed on an old mattress.
The sheets a part of a charity case; the pattern
could be seen on Little House on the Prairie

You’ll draw while I read
on a couch propped up by The Tommyknockers.
The only book of appropriate thickness.

On the mattress we sleep
our legs intertwined like the dusty
cables of the television.

The baby sleeps in shoes so her toes are not cold.
In footed pajamas and a pair of off brand tennis shoes
she roams the front room.

The mice gnaw at the wood inside the walls,
a scrapping sound that projects
a much larger animal.

The roaches that travel between houses,
crawl over the dinner dishes, dragging
filth behind them.

The couple on the mattress pays no mind.