April Poetry Fundraiser

Day 11

Things That Exist in the Heat 
by Mandy Berry

I. Things you see

Shriveled-up condoms
Hardened dog poop, devoid of flies
People hiding under tarp tents,
selling food there
A young man crossing the street,
dressed in white
(does he not sweat?)
A girl on the bus stop,
wearing wide blue jeans,
balancing a notebook
on her lap

II. Things you hear

Air conditioners whirring
Cars rumbling
Someone at the food tent shouting
Birds chirping
Someone clapping

The girl says nothing.

III. Things you smell

Cigarettes.
Always cigarettes.
And sweat.

IV. Things you taste

The spit in your mouth,
And the lingering sweetness
of a gummy worm
much like yourself,
except edible.

V. Things you feel

The sun hitting you,
baking you
The stifling embrace of a pair of jeans
that choke your need to sweat
The sun, worsening a headache
that came from a fight you had
with your mom
again

VI. Things that are

A city in 80-degree weather
with only a handful of people outside
and a girl
and a notebook
and a set of pens that must be drying up

****

Here All Kneel and Pause for a Short Time
by S.A. Bowden

(At Palm Sunday mass last weekend)

Oh God,
Can a heart be this broken?
Can a heart be broken beyond repair?
I
am
such
a
sinner.

****

Summer Camp
by Sam Yoseph

In 1939,
They stood in lines.
Birthday wishes being nothing more
But to leave.

Families separated,
Children too weak,
And the elderly too old.
But they were just right.

With rasp,
Flames turn into ashes.
The smell of burning flesh lingers
Around chains.

In 2017,
They crouch in rooms.
Birthday wishes being nothing more
But to leave.

Families separated,
Children unwanted,
and the elderly unacceptable.
But this wasn’t right.

With sobs,
Chairs turn into currents.
The act of being shocked is no longer
A surprise party.

They forgot their wishes to God,
Deciding hell would be better.

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