Frank Pochese lived on a hill near the railroad tracks
across from the shell of the abandoned
New Walk Shoe Factory.
Frank would hit other boys
whenever they got close enough,
would flip the tables in the school cafeteria.
My mother said be nice,
said Frank just did the things he did.
Once I walked up the hill to frank’s house,
saw the little trailer with it’s tacked on porch.
Saw frank’s grandfather hand stitching moccasins.
Saw frank sitting quiet next to him.
One kid at school said
Frank’s mom lived up
on the Passamaquoddy reservation.
Said frank lived with his grandparents
because she drank too much. Continue reading
To the junkie who told me he hated me when I revealed I've been clean
for eight years
Sometimes, I hate me, too.
Sometimes I wake up, rub
the place on my left arm
that will never be the soft flesh
it was before. And every night
I go to bed with that skin
unopened. I know that I will live,
and I know
that I don't deserve this,
that this redemption
would fit better
on someone else's shoulders—
someone who paid more for it.
This is how it happens to you:
They send you home, left leg shattered
and stitched back together and screaming.
Screaming the metal on metal of a train wreck.
A four a.m. smoke alarm you will not
get the batteries out of.
They give you those little white pills
and they work. Not the way the Tylenol 3
with Codeine works, that just puts a blanket
over the noise. No, they turn that shit
off. Pure, kind silence—and who wouldn’t
get hooked on that?