Thursday, July 30, 2015

poem of the day 07.30.15

my new friend

chung shows me his braces
he’s proud of the metal on his teeth

all i can do is stare
at a piece of something white caught in them
wonder if it’s bread or something else

i stomach a lot but certain foods get me
giving the cat tuna is enough to knock me on my ass

i tell chung, all right, enough about the braces
to get him to close his mouth

but he say, i don’t think my grandma loves me

my one grandma does, he says
but the one i live with, she just yells at me
because sometimes i forget to come home

chung volunteers here
sometimes he forgets to come in on saturdays
but we always give him a second and third chance

he says, why do you think my grandma yells at me

i don’t know, kid, i tell him
maybe you’re out of chances with her

i can still see that piece of white stuck in his braces
wonder how the kid is talking with that

a piece of lettuce in my teeth is enough for an epileptic fit

maybe she’s just worried, i tell chung

she’s mean, he says
but everyone is mean to chung

the adults in here
most of the kids i see him wrestling around with

he’s a good, dumb kid

the world will take advantage of chung
until he has nothing left to give it
but servitude and quiet benevolence

i just want my grandma to love me, he says

i’m sure she does, i say
but what do i know?

in america families gun each other down
like they’re taking on enemy combatants

you got something in your braces, i finally tell chung

he puts a whole hand in his mouth
works to dig the piece of white out until it’s gone

he flicks it away and i watch it slop on the floor
look up to see chung’s hand extended, ready to shake mine

thanks, he says
as we shake

but i’m not so sure which hand
he flicked that food off with.


No comments: