Poem with No Name

if you see it from the moon
depth and translucence of blue
drawing you into a breathless sway
as you move with the swirls of white

you cannot imagine the violence
committed in the name of drawing lines
the naming of intangible things
thoughts as swirls of white smoke

to choke, to kill, to die
for heroes of the past
children of the future
blood red under the swirls of white

touch down in the desert
feel the waters of a tiny brown hand
peeled from her mother’s breast
wails not muffled by the swirl of white

do we all stand as she does
alone in front of our judge
to be named criminals who lay witness
to the caging and skinning of all that is not white

in the name of a thing with red stripes
against the blue and stars of white

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Phoenix Rising

some of us were lost
spent our twenties in the Bermuda Triangle

we forgot who we were
lioness and dove, dragon and fairy

only then could you cage us
imprisoned by your tempting promises

it wasn’t until we banded together to
learn our own hearts and gather our spirits full force

we could see through the fog
clear to the mainland where our flag was flying

we let go of the island of the lost
became deaf to your words of mass destruction

they damaged us like no other warfare
until we accessed the power to heal ourselves

and release all that held us bound, lifeless
rising from the ashes of our mistakes

to become the mighty Phoenix and fly
forever leaving you and your kind behind

Bus Stop Shadows

are aware
they are living in an unparallel universe.
They gather the boy in his school uniform,
the baby in her flimsy stroller, and they walk

The tiny hands clasped–so as not to slip too suddenly
into this world, making their way in the summer scorch rising
from the sidewalks and the cigarettes in the
open mouths behind them.

Men dressed
in their best blue collared shirts and heavy
work boots hanging on the edges of the curb
as though ready to jump face first into
disaster–no shadow to speak of in that moment

It is only us–
the ones driving comfortably and air-conditioned by
who are unaware of that world.
We honk and we stress, we yell and we press
the stop and start gas pedals of our days

unknowing.
The bus stop shadows are there;
waking early, waiting and riding in standing room only,
making, cleaning, doing, and fixing
this comfortable, cool, full-color, riding in style
life we know.