Digital Delinquency

“Lets watch some commercials,”
she said, “to show how overwhelming
social justice is.” So we followed
the next link in the sidebar,
searching “commercials featuring
black people.”
I wish we hadn’t hit enter
hadn’t hit that triangular play button
and sat back in horror
as it streamed forward
the most obscene cartoon I have ever seen
in Lazy Town, those men of color
caricatures like primates
was it the derogative that shaped the animation
or the comic that coined the word
and my hand covered my mouth
my muscles trembling, heart beating in time
how many children had watched this?


Said the Rain

Said the rain outside my window
as it tumbled to the ground
won’t you lend me a hand
can’t you hold me up?
I’m falling like Niagara
past these cusps of clouds
sifting through the sky
like birds or butterflies
If you could take my hand
would you hold it?
where would you lead me?
or would you let go
let the damp spots dry
and lay in the sun
instead of playing
in the rain
like children

Lloviendo (Raining)

He shivered on the park bench, gripping a folded newspaper to his breast while masses of umbrellas–yellow, white, polka-dotted and rainbow–rushed past him. A little girl in a pink raincoat let go of her mother’s hand and stopped by the bench. She wasn’t scared by his unshaven face, his weathered clothes, his wrinkled hands. Instead she smiled, said, “Here, mister,” and handed him her tiny pink umbrella before her mother pulled her away.


I’ve read the same line
three times
and I’m still not sure
what any of the words are
my eyes scramble across the page
but somewhere
they lose sight of the meaning
and bounce along like little balls
in a children’s sing-a-long
except this background music
isn’t cheerful and smiling
but heavy and damp
a weight pressed on my skull
with the low hum
of muted electronics
overpowering my mind
as I try to read this line
for the fourth time.