Is It Braver to Stay in the Car or Fight?

my father comes home from the thrift store
blood dripping down his face; a parking lot
brawl he didn't start but sure as shit ended
says he feels unsatisfied//says my mother
shouldn't have intervened//says he could've
got another punch in

i lick my lips and taste the way my frustration
longs to compound into a violence and i walked
out of my chem class the first day and slept
through calc 3a; there's not a whole lot i can say
about the mathematics of courage;

it's exponential though, the rate at which it
decays: it starts with the wondering//it starts with
asking why no one else seems to react the way
you do and then whether you might expect too
much from the world and it deteriorates from
there 

mother mentioned a parable while she put a
butterfly over his eyebrow//i throw myself into
work. i’m good at that: therapy through bagging
groceries, keeping the bitterness but letting
myself fade. is that bravery, still? to throw yourself
into the motion of the right thing but let your
mind float so far away it’s more like coincidence
when you stay on course?

 

Chapel Veil & Ripped Jeans 

found a third cricket in my sheets today; if
anyone could tell me where i trade in the bodies
for luck & what exactly the exchange rate is, i'd take
it as a kindness; there's too many crickets & too little
luck & good lord am i tired

and God, i know i wasn't much different last year
but i was kinder & my eyes didn't burn this much;
if this is a punishment, i feel it thoroughly. i could
be jack kerouac on a single roll of receipt paper:
paradoxical. neither of us got much skill but at least
i know hard work. at least i don't suffer for the sake
of telling others i suffer. 

i'm so tired and i just wanna be loved in the
take-what-you-can-get kinda way; loved in the way
that drove jessica & medea to trade gilding on the
promise of midas gold, even if i know i'll find my debtor
defaulted, find my cage traded for a cage & my hands
stained red. my seams are torn//my lipstick smears on
everything; i can't keep myself contained. i'm so tired, 
God.


KMP is a Southern Californian poet and aspiring lit major. Her free verse and prose poetry deals with struggle and longing, drawing from the poet's personal experiences with religion, poverty, mental/chronic illness, gender, and sexual orientation while living in a rundown conservative suburbia. She wants to know everything, feel everything, be everything; she won't settle for less. kmp has had poetry published in the 2015 and 2016 editions of The Wall and the Spring 2016 edition of Werkloos, "In Limbo," as well as in her chapbooks "UNBOUND" and "Ask Me a Question//I'll Write You a Poem."