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June 8, 2021 Poetry

Two Poems


Two Poems photo

Elon Musk is Moving to Austin 

& every grandpa’s truck is the truck of my dreams. Forest green or yellow thunder;

chromed out blue or rusty carmine. I love all the sun-dyed variations of red, really.

I love the squeaky door handles swinging open at the twin liquor store on the old

side of congress. By “old” I mean it hasn’t been gentrified yet. I want every grandpa

truck to stay owned by a grandpa & my grandpa to always have gap-toothed yellow

teeth. The silver caps shine brighter the longer you preserve them, I think. The trunk’s

dusty leaves—older than tech booms bringing a tampering white dream to all

thriving populous cities. I want Congress to never be called SoCo again. And it’ll never

be by all those truck-driving abuelo’s tipping their cowboy hats to me on Friday eves.

They are my realm of possibility. When I grow up I want to be all their leaky motors

& leather seats, combined. Tonight I’ll be sure to let the cranky grandpa in first. Maybe

we can link up after sip-shopping & yell at some clouds or I can listen to his audible

history of what Austin used to be. We’ll never be the tech utopia they want us to be.

Not while men can still grow up to mirror their cars, not while Texas lights gleam on

& grandpa’s glow despite their cracking paint jobs, effortlessly.



Good Joy 

This morning it took me 20 minutes to do the injection. The same
process I’ve done 3 other times & I can say it wasn’t nonsensical.
Inflicting pain on oneself for long-term pleasure isn’t unheard of,

but that doesn’t make it any less painful. The truth is valid even if it doesn’t
feel very useful. Once in a workshop Daad referred to joy as “good joy”
instead. I imagine that good joy exists with no “in spite of” at the beginning.

I imagine bad joy is your partner leaping towards you & seeing your abuser’s
face instead. It’s also the feeling of the needle going in; not the growth, nor the hair,
nor the blood that only peeks outside the body, a little. Bad joy is my mother’s voice

accessible only by telephone for healing purposes. Bad joy is making it
through 2020 partially scathed, glowing bright, & missing. When the bitter
mushroom touches my tongue, & my skin & throat move in harmony towards it,

bad joy is the tart that turns into sweetness once the taste settles. I am everything
that’s wrong with America & also what saves itself from demise. Tell me
something more joyful than that.



image: Tamas Pap