Did you look up

Did you look up?
Were you too late.
Did you not see it? Did you miss it? It is too late?
Did you spend a second thinking about someone else besides you.
Did you toil.
Did you get dirty. Hands dirty. Feet. Mouth. Ears.
Did you shake?
Who made you shake? Who was responsible.
Who was the boogie man. Who was evil. Who was just hurtful.
Who cut into the pie, took what they wanted; and left you thirsty. On your knees. In the dirt.
Who play-acted for you. Was it good? Was it fun? Did you leave you better than you were? Lighter?
When was it shit.
When it was it heavy.
When was it phony.
When was it fake?
When did you walk in and just know you wished things were different. So when did you stand up?
When did you look up and see the top and say holy shit I can grab that.
I can actually grab that.
That is within my reach.
That is my life.
I can take it.
I can have the life I want; rather than complain about the one I’m in.
Take it. Take it. Rise.
Live your best life starting now.

New York

Williamsburg Bridge. April 2021

He thought he might burst. He thought he lived in a city. He thought he’d remember the energy, storefronts, restaurants, scaffolding. He walked the streets with new strains in his ankles; his shins. It had been eight years since he’d last lived in a city that teemed with life. He sat in a park and watched the energy rise up like a dust storm and kick out across the avenues. He was bewildered. He was transfixed. He was closer to the heart of the city than he’d ever been and he was scared. He crossed the streets with an ever increasing alertness. He noted the bagel shops, sake bars, and corner-stores he used to frequent. He continued down side streets, park-fronts, avenues. He skated off corners and fell down flights—staring up at street signs like forgotten one night stands. He remembered the essence, but not the details. He remembered which way was East, but could’t tell you what lay on the block. His imagination created a new reality from the past he remembered, but nothing remembered him. How delightful he thought as he pushed past another building from his young adulthood; how delightful he thought—sitting on the bench facing West. The people passed by in droves. No one said hello or excuse me or nice to meet you, in fact, no one spoke to him at all. And yet, the feeling of being alone on a park bench in front of thousands of passerby’s—invisible—was like a relative to him. It had been awhile since they last saw one another. But he remembered her instantly, and commented on how long it’s been how good she looked and how he missed her so.

I see my shadow

I see my shadow as I pass
I see yours too, it’s big.
I see it in the summer light
I see it on this pig.

Every shadow that I meet
I wave and say hello;
And when the sun goes down
My shadow drifts into the sea.

Its sad to say goodbye sometimes
Its sad to look away
But things come back
Like all these birds
Who chirp and chirp away.

Anxiety

scrawling some news on the back of a letter
the writing were good if the paper were better.

people will come
people will go

people will lie
people will know

people will lose
people will burn
people will leave
people return.

I wish I could put a name to my fear;
I wish we were close,
I wish you were near.

I wish you were here on a bike and a sled
We could play in the yard
We could build in the shed

We could take out guitars
We could plant a new tree
We could get real bizarre
We could talk about me

And all that it’s worth
And all that we’re able.
I’d give my whole life;
I’ll punch through a table.

people will come
people will go

people will lie
people will know.



remember that day

Remember that day
You showed up late
And said those words to me:
“I’ll love you till the rocks come down.”
It was just you and me.

It was a bright and Bluebird Day
And talk and talk we did.
And when you took out Gatorade
I thought “MAN, my dad’s the shit!”

Fast Forward;
Though it happened slow;
It got warm;
It got cold;
It got tense;
It got torn;
Over and over till a baby was born.

Want to play?
Can’t today.
Wanna talk?
Late for walks.
Wanna spit?
You still doing that?
Wanna swing?
Don’t wear my ring.
Wanna riot.
SHH! Quiet.

And now my room was eaten up
And now my time with you was up;
And now I share your wild focus
As we brace for sounds like locusts.

Would you bite into an apple thinking about me?
Would you build a swing set in the backyard all for me?

Will you take me on some trips?
France: for bread and cake?
Will you take me off to Spain
For bulls and wine and lakes?

You have another child I can see it in your face;
You have another child she has claimed a master race.
My memories deleting while this new one flops about.
All my height marks in bright green have now been all crossed out.

Have your kid;
Live your life;
Pretend that you are free.
“I’ll love you till the rocks come down.”
Is what you said to me.

Stairs

Stairs are scary,
Steep and long,
I treat them with respect.
Holding the rail,
I go down slow.
I don’t play games
 I don’t make jokes
Until I reach the bottom.

Stairs to me are not a joke
I do not play or gaggle;
But once my feet do touch the ground,
I smile and throw my hands up.

I held the railing!
I made it down!
I’ll never let it go!

As I go down, I let go once
The stairs are not a joooooooooooooooo—!

When I shop for clothes

When I shop for clothes
I shop till I drop;
I shop in the store
I shop in the lot.

I shop while I drink
I shop while I fish;
If I catch a suede jacket,
I don’t throw it back in.

I shop cause I’m sad
Cause I lost my left hand
In an accident so bad
The pictures are bland.

The pictures are bland
Cause they’re mostly out of focus;
But a hundred mile an hour train-wreck
Is quite a commotion.

Now when I shop
I shop for a hand.
To replace the one I lost
Somewhere in Bhutan.

One day I will find it;
That missing part;
Then my shop will be over,
And I’ll leave the parking lot.

Elan Zafir’s misemployment of the run-on sentence