Our People I

rustle plastic bags of outside food in
movie theaters/talk out of turn
in the swallow-dark light/believe
trash should be/as confetti/everywhere
in the viaducts’ shadow/souring in gutters’
craw/jaywalk with the urgency of sloth /split
verbs meaningfully/do or want to do
better/ tattoo so you will never mis-
remember our names/name ourselves
Precious and Mercedes/must have
some Indian in us/search for signifiers
in eyes/ bright earlobes/textures of hair/
are color-stuck/are disabused our definitions
of love/love and don’t know how to call it/
grieve any number of nouns/mostly people/
pets/preoccupy with memories at the
repast/recall that day at the beach that /
leads us to days at the beach grilling/meat
browning/its purpose/it’s children on the
sandbar tossing a ball/the dog biting
the surf/finally some mirth/we carry
for keeps.

More Poems by CM Burroughs