It just doesn’t work,
the sun, the streets,
scented and alive
with human mouths,
and old women
burdened with cardigans
and shopping bags full of
old rainstorms.

None of it’s working properly.
But I know that I am
the screw that came loose,
the crate of fruit that
fell from the cart and
left a stain in the street.

You see, I just can’t
go straight like the others anymore,
straight lines, straight shots,
straight loves,
because a bitter family has
entered my soul
and has pitched their tent.
They are roasting marshmallows
over my tormented and charred lung.

There are people that
live in houses happily,
and get in cars happily,
and stroll through
straight-jacket parks
with pleasant, asinine music
on their lips.

They feed cats and kiss their wives
the way they would raise a glass
of moderately priced wine to their lips,
and they converse together
with cordial eyebrows.
It is all just too strange,
like filling in potholes,
or painting over obscene words
on bathroom walls.

The broken ones never go out.
I never see the ones who lost,
the left-out, the wayward, the confused.
They’re never found
in public gardens with
their smiling, clipped roses.
The ones who tripped on
the pavement of life,
with a stubbed toe and
an enraged beard,

the jilted, the stood-up,
the ones who failed at every thing,
because their was hurt,
and unspeakable loves
that went wrong, so awfully wrong,
and skies of squeezed orange juice,
and dawns that killed
all their ambitions.
And because of all this,
not despite it,
they wear their breakdown like
a masterpiece.

It doesn’t work,
it’s all stopped ticking over.
But sometimes, I need to fail.

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