Portrait of Detention Center
for Christian, Bakersfield 2018
the 1% are playing god, GEO Corporation hacks life under a dome
a veil of reconstruction, was pummeling resurrection of freedom
destroying historical venues expanding baby prisons, housing children
away from their mothers, who smothers whom in the womb of the U.S.
land of the freaks, home of the brass knuckles in the face of the weak.
“zero-tolerance” policy shaping a campaign
separating children, profits of blood-money run rampant in the veins
each wall cut heads splatter, beheading a hydra, with each protest, one more sprouts
up out of the blood, emerging in other cities, & Christian’s mother could only follow her son
wherever they moved him, transferred into land of green, a terrain of cacti & hunger
who is hungering for another change at survival, every day, no justice against this plague
cutting us away from colored rooms, what blooms on this canvas but dust and muddy river
on us all, who drowns in our prayers, another curse, another blessing—
se vive se siente
los dreamers están presentes
That which we embrace of the past
Sneaks into veins & stitches to thoughts
Every idea is good, was good, how good
Do we feel?
I remember my parents saying
“the program is only a year and a half, if you don’t like it
You don’t have to go through with it”
The choice, living with the choice
Moving to St. John’s, Antigua
Sneaking into Blue Waters at night
With Hieu, relaxing under the gazebo
Fishing, simplicity, between what we were
Who we knew we could be, couldn’t be
Each memory likes to thread together, holding
As if they occurred together like the day I shook hands with Vivian Richards at Epicurean or the day I had my first shawarma at Jabberwock beach
Paying memory like that for something I did not want
Carved some form of bliss into me & who I was
Although, I’m still learning myself.
Portrait of Keralite
after 2018 Kerala floods
Depression is typhoon season on our wound
water rising, dissolving foundation like
our familial ties to one another, one drenched & drowned.
How come now the refusal to protect my aunt
is my uncle’s painting petrified, fucked-up discolored remnants
on a canvas now soaked with rat fever & snakes
swarming in water, swallowing houses as it goes.
It took a week for help to come, for no man would step up
to claim their family & loved ones, apparently no longer loved
when disaster shakes its head all these thoughts loose
like fishermen dredging water for survivors
God’s Own Country lends its hand to chaos
me Dad went to Kerala two weeks ago, to build
what little remained between
wet reminders of aunt sleeping with gran
in sunken house, what is a happening
but shoving men like him down into depths
wandering why the fallen are the only ones
exempt from pain & or vows meant to protect
Wife. Love. Promise. Hypocrite. Ripples, Rain.
blue blue blue bruise forever forever forever.