A sign hangs across my back,
a rope an aggravation around my neck.
Terrible posture, almost crawling, decrepit,
I search for people who can easily rip me apart.
(Because I can’t find any others.)
Signs are spat all over me in layers.
Evil monkeys come from all around, reading
instructions for how to tear down my spirit
and delete the hope, written by Mother
so many years ago.
Mother was thorough and the signs stick.
With heavy prayer, they were to stay under
my four-poster with balls of dreaded,
deadly dust and musky mattress bottom
which was well-known in all its deformities.
Defenseless water balloons, filled
with what was left of love, love in liquid,
running down pitiful, worn, shameful cheeks.
Monkeys, joyfully squeezing the balloons,
loving the pops, cackling,
blaring laughs from trombones.
Why could I not leave the instructions
in some desolate parking lot, in the rest area
off of I-70 where I camped to find out if I was alive
or if it was only the stars that were alive?
The stars blared at me,
and I ran, alive, ran away from humans,
but the signs stayed on me.
These monkeys have Mother’s spirit. One time
in hundreds through months, I feel that I’ve done
great things. No in-between for the other hundreds,
the monkeys gnawing and slashing
at what is left of my spirit, they know Mother’s tune.
How do they know?
From so far away,
from so long ago?
I struggle to be alive like the stars as I work
to slink the signs somewhere dark,
pulling the rope away,
but the monkeys know me and I can’t hide,
and they are slicing and dividing me
over and over
by two, until there seems to be nothing.
The liquid is almost gone.
My spirit is a tiny speck,
a fly under a humid mattress, begging for air.