Our balance is in the red

and the debt we owe ourselves

for the losses in our ledger

can’t be paid by credit

even as we add another lien

to our children’s future.

Our souls are left in a little black tray

on red and white diner table cloth

between greasy fry crumbs

and the beef fat

of Southern-style exorbitance.


Thank God the man by the door is armed right?

Apparently, Tennessee needs

his untrained aim to train aim

so we’re kept safe

or maybe just kept. We’re trying,

we tell our children

out the door into the lot

even though it feels we’re just a car

among trucks,


it’s not too late and we’re not alone, but I’m

T-shirt in November and that thumb-width

empty space between the (R) and the checkbox

met so many pens today

that we feel we left our dignity

back on the polling table to be bussed back,

dumped in a sink with bits of crust,

broccoli stems,

and a bone fragment

whose crack left in our bite

will soon infect.