coffee out with maria

why is it that when I see you I cry immediately,

like someone punched in a cash register button in my heart

and the drawer slides open, pouring out vulnerabilities

 – you, oblivious, too young to understand –

I want to ask you how you got this way,

why your eyes are unfocused behind your cute little glasses. that would be rude

but the way you’re eating ice cream with your hands is rude too

so your mother leads your limping hand away,

to wash you clean, the way my mother did.

your parents maybe wonder why

this stranger is watching their child and slowly overflowing with tears?

(she misses her brother.)

adulthood

my brother turns 19

graduating onto the sea of life

I, another piece of his exulting audience, applauding from afar,

wish I could wrap my arms around his ribs

before he, a man of the sea,

falls off this cliff into the wide freedom

that is unstructured life without university.

second.

the flames consume you

burning out of your dark eyes, speckling your skin with soot

defying stereotype

redefining man

let no one tell you what you must

be

do

look like

think like

to be adequate, accepted.

their standards are limited to muscle, skin color, sweat and guns

you are strength tied with blood

playing with limitations, reaching in directions misunderstood by the common ideals

Heavy feet half-treading the packed ground,

wearing holes,

soles thin to paper.