New poem I didn’t submit about Jose Canseco

An Ode to Jose Canseco’s Missing Finger

When your body is a lunar eclipse
appendages may start jumping ship,
wishing to dissipate into molecules
associated with necrotic stench or dust
or maybe having learned the secret
of the afterlife, they can’t bear the fallacy
of wearing skin. Your chips are always
all-in. You’re always leaving bits of yourself
on the table. These are the lessons
self-amputating limbs teach.
Don’t clean the gun when it’s loaded.
Don’t treat life like a sitcom
in which you are the star.
Admit it when you get too old
to hit the homerun.

Poem for Malala Yousafzai

Who is Malala?

Who is this child with the voice of a storm,
sent to face death and turn it into a hurricane,
changing the fist of the desert into an open palm?

Who is this child placing books like shields
in the hands of women, eclipsing the silence
of black gun barrels like mouths stuffed with fire?

She smiles. She makes herself a target.
She shows the oppressed that knowledge
is the atom bomb in a war of water pistols.

She speaks and the warlords shutter their windows,
cower in the halls with their hands over their ears,
these terrorists afraid of shadows and thunder.

Who is this woman so brave, she stands alone
in the path of a Jihad, a holy battle waged
against human rights like an assault on daylight.

Who is this woman, turning herself into a sun?
This woman, her words like comets,
shooting stars for the abandoned to wish upon,

she is the song in the throat of the wingless.
She is the prayer on the lips of the faithless.
She is mother to the orphaned.

Malala is bravery waving hello,
a raised hand faced palm out
to show that even a desert has a lifeline.


ghosts of silence