i opened my wallet and out fluttered 300 dollars like origami cranes
out into the night sky. flapping their wings delicately towards the moon.
i drove back down fire mountain in the middle of the night
my stomach churning diesel oil each pair of headlights passing judging me
for my carelessness. for my inability to be complacent for one god damn second.
sometimes the worst curse of all is never being complacent.
never being able to let your head spin 360 degrees and see what you have.
or what you have in that moment. or see that you don’t have anything.

so i chase the 300 dollars.
i go home and head into my basement where i build a boxcar racer with wings
and i try to shoot up into the sky to regain the green birds floating towards the sun
but it’s silly.
the flying boxcar racer is far too wobbly and it can only get 10 feet off the ground.
so i close up the garage, i head into the kitchen and my make myself some cereal
and in the bottom of the box is a prize
it’s a hand and it’s flipping the bird at me.
when you press the button it says fuck you.
it says fuck you you asshole.
did you think this was boardwalk and park place?
did you think this was landing on go and rolling doubles?
you got a long way to go, buddy.
and don’t think for a second you’re not the one who folded up those
dollar bill cranes.
don’t think for a second that you didn’t just cost your self two months of stability.
don’t think for a second that you are jesus christ there’s no nails in your hands.
you’re no howard hughes. you’re no muhammad ali.
you took a shit ton of pot shots in the first couple rounds but this ain’t over.
it’s not so cheap to be a poet.
the talk ain’t shit if you ain’t walking.

and i felt like a narcotic anonymous.
i felt like the room was six billion cups of shit coffee
and i stand up and say
“my name is brice, and my impulsivity is often devastating
to myself and those around me. yeah i might have adhd.
yeah it might be detrimental to my well being but i like the way
the words come rolling off my forked tongue.”

and i thought of you, pistol pete.
gambling man run off devoid of family, devoid of love.
and buried alone.

i heard about your funeral, pistol pete.
father of my father.
i heard it was quiet and understated.

and then when my grandmother died,
the woman you abandoned,
the saint who raised these seeds from the dirt.
it was like a symphony.
her voice turned to sunlight and radiated the room.

and i’m somewhere inbetween.
leaning into my demons like a wheel shook towards the wrong side of the road.
like an uncomfortable buzz at two in the morning on the highway.
the red lights the blue lights the hellsound of siren on the fringe
of a beat up highway where i count my blessings in what is the cheapest
meal i can eat when i can’t afford to eat?

and i’m salaried and white and american and oh so stupid.

and i’m not gonna do it again.

when i die
it will not be quiet and night.

when i die
my voice will turn to sunlight and radiate the room.

my voice will hang in the belfry and i will not pass down
this legacy of being unable to get down on bended knee
at the door of a woman
beautiful enough to have me.


Author: brice maiurro

Denver poet. Author of Stupid Flowers, out now through Punch Drunk Press.

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