Christ in the Back of the Van and other poems

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Christ in the Back of the Van

Pete says if Jesus were alive today
in America he’d drive a Greyhound Bus

and I won’t attempt to argue his theory because he’s much smarter than me.
But sometimes I do think maybe he’d be the same as us­

riding across this country in the back of a van
with a sleeping bag and something to prove,

speaking to anyone who will listen and staying clear of bad pussy.
But what do I know? I am not self­aware.

When someone says, I Am that I Am
I reply, I know you are but what Am I?
Because fuck it. I’m drunk.

In A Motel-­6 In Jersey

wide awake and tired as shit
in a Motel-­6 in Jersey

I am lying flat of my back
staring up at the white ceiling stars

and listening to this woman in the room above me
repeating the lines I don’t even know these people

and Why don’t you love me anymore?
it’s like the chorus of a song

and the beat is her footsteps moving
from the bed to the bathroom and crying.

and this song goes on and on like this
and I think maybe it’s because I’ve been off liquor

but maybe it’s something much simpler
like sleep isn’t what I really needed tonight.

maybe I only needed to hear this song
over and over so I wouldn’t forget

how glad I am that I love you
and that I know the people around me.

Shiver

Shivering with a cigarette & coffee
I witness a squirrel fall
from a tree

It’s one of those things you forget
happens until it happens
in front of you

Like this morning when I made you cry
You were holding our baby
& crying

It’s like the sounds a tree makes when it’s falling
the way my heart breaks
it’s hard

violent & mean and no one I don’t care
how strong they are
can hang on

The Median

I am driving hundreds of miles today
in the snow
and the hawks are landing on the median
with their claws out.
And I can’t help thinking about my first time
out on the road.
I was so green bums could see me coming
from miles away.
I bet I lost fifty dollars to them then.
But not anymore.
And that’s what I hate most about time­
how it makes us hard.
Just last night I told this woman to fuck off.
What am I? Made of money? I have a family to feed.
See what I mean?
That’s why I don’t blame the hawk or the hunger or the weakness.
I blame the line.

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