LETTER TO FRANK ON A HARD DAY

Dead squirrel on the sidewalk in front of my house

Not starting to smell but attracting flies

 

Five days of dishes loiter the sink modest price

for depression some pile for weeks some don't eat

 

Not quite a callous on big toe just half moon

where the skin's learned to grow a little thicker

 

Some days the cashiers call me he most days

they don't Most days my body moves just fine

 

on its own most days I hardly know the difference

between anger and grief between trauma's aftertaste

 

and saving it in my cheek in case I get hungry

later in case the place I'm going doesn't have any

 

I've never found a point in asking what the point is

The answer's either nothing or everything

 

or both at the same time somehow simultaneously

full and empty For every paper bag I save

 

there's a chicken getting shit on by another chicken

in the cage above its head For every burger

 

I decline a turtle with a toothbrush in its throat

People were not built to see their actions follow through

 

People were not built All the metaphors for brokenness

are illegitimate We were flesh in tiny bottles

 

once and we will again We will again

We'll do it all again and then we'll do it all again

 

It's okay if this motion makes you sick That's

a perfectly logical response Maybe one day

 

we can hop the fence Maybe all this is 

an opening act You know how rowdy crowds get

 

when they're waiting You know how much it hurts

to hear the cheers when you step out and a bottle

 

thrown directly at you hits even if its plastic even if

its air The words you scream into the microphone

 

don't carry the melody don't do much beyond punctuate 

somebody else's lyrics but the song would be lesser 

 

without you The song is dependent upon your inclusion

You're what drives me to the floor on days I need to stay there

Benjamin Rhodes