It (doesn’t) Belong(s).

Maybe it all belongs.

Not to say that

it’s all good, or

equal or needed

but rather

it’s all here.

The beauty,

the wonder.

The first kisses and

the late night comedy bits.

The maples in Vancouver

and the poppy seeds

in Pakistan.

The bass in Lake Peachtree (I kissed a girl there once)

and the salmon in Washington.

Those are good things.

And there is, too,

a ragged couch cushion laying along leaves and

grass on the rails of

an Amtrak.

Maybe the seat of someone

who caught that midnight train

looking for a lover.

Or maybe looking for


There’s an angry father,

blurting out epithets

and the shame of seven

generations on some waitress

whose Marlboro addiction

is the only thing saving her from the other shadow of a man

back at her duplex.

And you’ve got

the military industrial complex

and redlining

and gentrification

and californiacation

and oil changes

and changing a flat tire off I-5 in the winter of Seattle with rain dumping as if Elijah prayed for it.

And grandmas dying with nothing but the comfort of a 20 year old CPA.

And miscarriages.

And stories never told because the presumed judgement seems to outweigh the shame of a secret,

and babies abused and

trauma repeated and then


Mass graves.

Bodies, stepped over on busy streets —

I roll my window up and pretend I didn’t see

you begging for change, or maybe dignity.

So there’s that, too.

The grief of my (our) own “so what” to the world.

A middle finger to the grief of whatever else is out there,

because, well, dammit

I’ve got my own grief, too.

How can we carry it?

It all belongs.

It’s not all good, much of it deserves

a “fuck off”

or a “to hell with this,”

The big and small deaths,

they need a kick.

But there is a place that was once

called hell,

and now it’s a garden.

I don’t know what that means

but I have a hunch it points to a

Reality greater than me and yet is in all things.

And yet not, because death is still a real


and mortgages, too

and we all flame a fire so

I just hope the one I flame is love.

Or maybe Love flames me.

It all belongs, somehow.

Not because we need it all —

but because it’s all here.

And the irony is that

by staring death in the face

it begins to lose it’s grip.

By going to hell,

it becomes a garden.

I don’t know what it all means

and I know most of it

is pointless, an enemy.

But I remember a few words

that seem to matter

and of the three,


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