Word Problems

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

for Victor Steen

at 15 miles per hour / 1,000 pounds
is a wagon of 166 bricks running a stoplight
is a donkey kicking your entire body at once
is a fully stacked bench press free falling into an esophagus
is a paid vacation for the driver
is no question of if you’ll live, but what fraction
            of you will be left over

after 1,000 pounds / at 15 miles per hour
the boy is sheet metal folded at the feet of a flickering street light
the boy is blueprints discarded next to unfinished wood and bundles of rebar
the boy is a tomorrow unraveling in the crosshairs of a public servant
the boy is a brownish red syrup dripping from a malicious motor
the boy is either as child or as grown in the headline as his skin tone dictates

against 1,000 pounds / at 15miles per hour
a 17 year old boy is ripped tissue paper
a 17 year old boy is bubble wrap lungs
a 17 year old boy is not even an hour of paperwork
a 17 year old boy is what happens when a shadow flirts with freedom

at 15 miles per hour / 1,000 pounds
is a bullet sent to do a handcuff’s job
is move bitch get out the way
are you ok
is an insult
don’t you die on me
is an anchor thrown into drowning arms
cpr is a bad joke and these 17 year old lips can’t even smirk
can’t even whisper a question to the officer behind the wheel

the eventual gun that fabricates in flattened 17 year old hands
is clockwork.
is calculated.