Wednesday, June 23, 2010


i've crossed this country enough times
to forget what it's like
to have a home
to return to.
people ask where
i'm from, and i say
which is just as good as "Kentucky," and
more truthful.
i crossed the continent, this time
into a 63% unemployment rate [in my age bracket]
holding onto the sad-sack job
that is my only opportunity,
while they tell me: wear
shorts shorter, shirts tighter,
more makeup, bigger hair, more.
more, more.

or, maybe less -
less like myself, less
like a female who knows enough
to say,
this is wrong
when i'm only hired for my tits
or maybe ass, take your pick.
my early morning stalling car,
stopping in the midst
of three lanes of traffic,
means, among other things,
that i will walk an hour tonight
to dance through
my six hour shift, and sweat
until i don't remember what it means
to be dry
these small things are
the meaning of privilege, which
is what separates us
from poor to rich, from struggling
to asphyxiation.
we snatch at jobs
we're obscenely over-qualified for -
please, let me work - please, let me
not drown in the bile
in the back of my throat.

i learned yesterday
that Aaron died.
he drank himself to death,
adding to the top
the heroin overdose
to ensure he'd never be held responsible
for all his debt -
and sometimes, in
the darker moments
that seems like the only way
to ever be free - wasting your life
instead of pointless guilt over losing
a job, and the inability
to pay lawyers' fees.
i ran, from Oregon,
from my struggling friends for this -
my head swims -
it's heat exhaustion.

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