Dolce Vita

The Aftermath of New York


There’s darkness within me.

Oh, my heart!

So full yet incomplete

The world has taken its toll on me,

And left us with only steel.

Silent minds are often shallow;

Asleep beneath the false sunlight, they hide away.

There’s darkness within me!

Oh, my heart!

Hide me from the livid trees and groves of entropy

Dolce Vita,

The rich man goes first,

And the rest are soon to follow.

Charcoal black is the afternoon sky

Dolce Vita, we all shall die.


The Life of the Man Next Door

The Aftermath of New York: Always Before the Storm

What reason have I to be repulsed by my own species?

My own kin, as if my mind is abstract enough to separate it from theirs.

None. Not one that is fair

Because I am as much of a product as they are

Forced to stare at my loved ones

Blue faced in an extravagant prayer laced box

Worth more flimsy green paper than I could accumulate in two years time

And am told to call it closure

As if it wasn’t a complete and utter disgrace to the deadman

Whose soul twitches with embarrassment

Under sorrowful empty eyes.

I’d much rather be a wort covered toad,

Or a writhing worm stuck to the pavement.

A beetle under a shoe,

Or an unwatered blade of grass.

Yes, maybe then, I could leave this foul world in peace when it is my time leave it.

No one would look twice.

No one would have to lower my lifeless carcass into a box

That was half heartedly decorated by the hands of a laboring child

Who never saw my face,

But had to take something home to mother so they could afford supper that evening.

No one would bother to stare.

Maybe then I wouldn’t be cradled like a fool

Or kissed with formaldehyde

As if humans actually cared.


revised: 8/27/17

The Unsalted Sea

The Aftermath of New York: Always Before the Storm

Drops of sweet salt fall to the pavement
where a tom cat licks them up like sugar
but not fast enough to stop a wave in the lakes
that I am forced to be afraid of.

I’ve read the posted signs
“10,000 shipwrecks”
and the gale warnings that make my screen glow in the early hours
as I prepare myself to wade in the vast, open waters
holding my breath
where the rip tides stir silently
threatening to drag me out.

I am not the Edmund Fitzgerald
your waves only lure me in deeper.

“Save me from myself; don’t let me drown!”
I sing to the sea
like the radio sings to me
the sea that’s not an ocean
the sea with no salt.

I laugh
but only at my mind sometimes
I am not afraid of myself
rather what lies beneath the waves
before I find a passing seagull
who tells me to look east
find the sun to feel the rays
that warm the water on the winter days.

The cat lays next to you on the blanket and licks your hand
your skin is the softest cream
you chuckle
but not enough to make you shut your blue eyes
that read “I love you so, forever and more”
and I believe them
oh, I believe them
and the sweet sea blue.

I dive headfirst into the waves
with gills.

– 8/5/17

A Memorial 

The Aftermath of New York: A Simple Poem

(Thought of at the National September Eleventh Memorial, 6/11/17)

I was asleep in my cradle

safe, sound, untouched

miles and miles away from a newly acquired knife in a nation’s heart

when I should have been wide awake

should have let the fear strike me and leave its battle wounds

as it set into the jaws of millions

when the gasoline gushed into the office space

illuminating a man’s face

with sunken eyes on the 101st floor

asking, “Where is God when I have to jump?”

and I know he thought

how he wished he could grow wings

like the jet planes that landed at his feet

like he was living a little boy’s dream

but he didn’t wake up before it turned into a nightmare

and how he wished he could land without feeling any pain

but sometimes the world doesn’t work that way

so he tipped himself over the edge

hoping someone would catch his last words

with a prayer to his family

before he fell




and shattered in a sea of red and rubble

making a fireman’s stomach churn

and President Washington turn over in his grave

so now I stand

where thousands had wished to brush off their shoulders and walk away

or maybe even go back up to save the day

and I watch a leaf fall




silently to the water

and a passerby flip in a coin

because it’s easier than offering a shoulder to cry on

but I’m old enough now to understand

the wrath of an unforgiving world

and I don’t have the heart to scream out that gold doesn’t dry tears

nor does it wash away a sea of red

or dab up spilled gasoline

or mend the beams of the 101st floor

or give a desperate man his very own wings

because where is God when we have to jump?


A Simple Poem 

The Aftermath of New York: A Simple Poem

To know 

that when I look into his eyes 

I will see no monsters lurking in the depths 

that wish to turn my veins to ice

but instead a sea of morning light

with a warm “welcome home” sign the color of autumn leaves 

means more to me than I could ever describe in this jumbled poem.

To know his hands  

will always be careful

not to tamper with the thin fabric of my heart 

that has been torn like the “take one” papers at the corner store

or unlock the diaries in my mind without permission

that hold words such as these  

but filled more so with ink stains 

that haunt me while I sleep 

means more to me than I could ever jot down on this paper.

To know that when he holds me close

his heart beats steadily for the art of love

 to tame the monsters of the dark

to sew the fabric of my heart

to hold his breath 

or even watch his step 

to ensure that I sleep soundly  

means more to me

than just a simple poem. 

-Peace to the Piano Prince.

Originally Written: 3/27/17
Revised: 7/6/17


The Aftermath of New York: A Simple Poem

 We are the daydreamers.

A story kept in the pages of freshly printed books with glossy paper.

Protected from the brutal winds of the world while we are young

Given fairytales to drink like sweet tea

But told only to sip, not to swallow.

We are the daydreamers

Kicked out of our cloud castles when our fairy godmothers made holes in the pillowy, white safety nets we thought were our floors,

Scolded us,

Engraved, “G R O W  U P !” into the soft flesh of our delicate hearts,

And watched as we fell,

Landing face first onto a cement reality.
We are the daydreamers

Who still have hope for this miserable world.

The ones who think the sun smiles as it rises.

The ones who think skin is like silk 

And that true love exists outside of the fairytales we were raised upon.

The ones who get by on merely slivers of faith,

Like maybe Peter Pan really does wait patiently on the other side of some golden gate.
We are the daydreamers

But we have grown to accept our fates

Just as we have accepted the bitter taste

Of coffee at 5am. 

Renee Loves the Rain

The Aftermath of New York: A Simple Poem

She’d walk across the shards of our broken hearts to escape her mother, but what does that make me? A sister? A friend? A victim?

Someone who tosses and turns in the calm of the night because I could never say that vanity and pride are different, that one can be proud without being vain, with a flare in my eyes rather than paranoia because the ghost of who I used to be still sinks its fangs into the base of my neck.

But who am I, anyways?

I’m someone thrown to the curb on the streets of Queens, among the trash and unpaid cellphone bills because messages of, “You’re too busy,” stack up until finally one of them says, “Goodbye”.