“In a moment of weakness, I’ll ask the heart how many beats /before it releases the twenty-one grams of my soul… /It has already /chosen the outfit I’ll wear in my coffin.”
“If I organize the photos in my phone /from Least to Most Remembered. /If I nap till after midnight. /If I recite the names of all the /bugs I’ve ever crushed underfoot.”
“What are you doing? /Nothing. Nothing not boy /enough, Mr. Solo. (You knew it /before you knew it, /Jimmy Jenny.)”
T.J. Sandella’s poem exemplifies toxic masculinity.
Is There a Balm in Gilead? For Bayard Rustin On a street where it’s alwayssummer, on a daywhen it’s always 1948,your song rises into ether:“There Is a Balm in Gilead.” Even though I neverknew you, your singingcalls me. My ears consumethe timbre of your spirituals.When your wordssoared to India, you metMahatma Gandhi, his acheglowing from…
“Through the holes in my hands, I see /my son with all the blood that used to be mine.”
“My blood leaks a white spill, /mingles with my toothpaste bordering at the drain. /I’ll lose a white tooth in there /one day: too many brown beverages: coffee, /tea, acids and bases that claw without /racial preference at my pink gums.”
“Just as the moon cannot be cleaved from its light Jerome and Tyrone Price were paired /by nature identical but distinct”
“We will never be lovers /now, this /day confirms it.”
“I spy dad’s Playboy calendar, tan Miss July /hangs by a nail, splayed on a bed, white garters and knee socks and nothing else /making a face that says, you’re a funny sort of man.”
“Now we have only the dirge of distant tires, the percussion of closing doors, /this horror movie at the point all goes black /and we know the next sound will make us jump.”
“– ¡¿Siempre vas a dormir?! What are you doing with your life!?”
“I sat outside of a room /with padded walls /& listened to someone /who almost bit my arm /hex me through the door.”
“Somebody said I love you /which was strange /because I was sitting alone /at my kitchen table with a bottle /of hot sauce in front of me /boasting its freedom from gluten”
“Secret language /of the blood – bound, /untranslatable. /To end a fight, /to pick a fight, /to raise a storm of laughter.”
Poetry Editor Charlie Bondhus writes about poetry, problem-solving, and how writing well can help you become a better man.