Mine is a generation of taboo.
We are tribal tattoos and cheap motel room honeymoons.
We are slander,
and brittle teeth.
We are born-agains and suicides.
We are podium preachers and cracked-pavement prayers.
We are melted plastic and oxidized metal-
sometimes we gleam with the Liberty Green of corroded copper,
sometimes we crumble with rust and stain calloused hands.
We are the last stand of Art.
We are the manifestations of forbidden bloodlines
We are just as much our mothers
as we are our fathers,
and we are everything that they are not.
We are stigmata.
We are red paint on white canvas.
We are fast food coffee.
We were born to the sweet smell of formaldehyde
in rooms dressed in florescent white
that share plumbing with the morgues
beneath the linoleum floors.
We are the mix of vodka and innocence that lingers
in the kiss of a dimly lit basement.
We show and we tell but always only for the right price,
the wrong reasons,
or the promise of an exchange equaling to the feeling that
this is a mistake.
We are rosary beads counted between gnarled knuckles
and dragged across smooth palms that long
to sweep tear salt from flushed cheeks.
We are Heaven's lonely singles.
We are skin stretched out too thin over skeletons.
We are the complexities that machines can't calculate
much less imitate.
We are the futile cries that once tried to keep towers from falling
when the sky came crashing down.
We are the pardoned and the withered.
We are the hardened faces of those that have
worked too long
and been loved too little.
We have been told that the safest place for your soul
is in the hole of your chest,
but only if it's reinforced by
four inches of concrete and steel,
and strapped tight with a Kevlar vest,
because they said people,
But we have never been great listeners either;
when we were growing up
we pressed our hands to hot stoves
even though our mothers said not to,
because we couldn't just be told what it was to burn
we had to feel it for ourselves.
So every now and then we will crack open
our rib cages in the hopes that someone will come,
light a fire,
and decide to stay.
We hopelessly spray paint things like wings
On decrepit brick buildings
So that, at the very least, we can feed each
Hollow-eyed passerby the belief
That these streets still have guardians,
Even when we, ourselves,
Abandoned such ideologies in
brimming with our deities’ infidelities.
We are the period at the end of the sentence.
(Or maybe we are the ellipses...)
We have redefined the American family
and proven that even Christianity knows how to hate.
We were raised by sixty-percent divorce rates,
yet we still believe that we are soul mates.
We are the jokers of the deck:
either smiling fools or wild cards.
We are cocked heads with smoke billowing from throats
coated with blisters and cough syrup.
We are back alley scavengers crawling on all fours.
We are the era of the Auto-Tuned voice,
proof that with a pretty enough face anyone can sing.
We are foggy mirrors with smiles drawn on them
by printless fingertips.
We slip up the thighs of our lovers
and swirl down the drains of sinks with chipped paint.
We are the hearts in your hands.
Crush us into powder and brush us across your face like Indian war paint,
Give us up to the sky so that we can be revived by lightning,
Dance to the rhythm that we beat,
Squeeze us and watch as we seep through the cracks of your fist,
Conceal us in your pocket and only ever speak to us in a whisper,
with all your natural voice,
sing to us
songs about thunderstorms
to wet the dusty desert dirt around our rooted toes
in the hopes that we will blossom in the most vivid colors.
Just do something with us.
Don't sacrifice us to the tops of lost bookshelves
to collect dust
or rust in the rain with everything you once loved
but grew too old for.