On the subject of jazz and the human condition.

The dull ache of winter weighs heavy on my chest and constricts my lungs
or maybe that’s the packs I’ve smoked over the past few days
waiting for my voice to sound husky and sultry and cracked,

My chapped lips bleed blue-collar aspirations and imported ideas of enlightenment
sitting on the stoop and listening to my mother cry in the kitchen
while I sing along to Sinatra and wait for my father to come home,

Baby sister stumbles up the front steps with liquor in her eyes
she watches me for a brief moment before lighting up a joint
collapsing on the cement next to me like the broken doll she aims to be,

We sit together discussing what we once wanted to be
if only to muffle out the sound of our mother’s heartbreak and bond in our estrangement
laughing in the face of every shrink who ignored our wrath in family therapy,

“Do you think he’ll come home?” I find myself whispering into the smoke
“Sissy,” she sighs and throws the roach into the street
“I don’t think I want him to.”

[Written October 11th, 2016]


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