Slums of Fullerton

August 6, 2017

I’d invite you over but

I have the roaches here already

and they are using all the glassware

these cups are small landmines in the dark

I dare not tip them


The one I covered today wasn’t as big

as the one belly up in the tub

 (I’ll never know why he chose to die there)

but it tickled up my leg during tv

then I had no choice but to cup and capture them


After that, the roach shame set in:

my busted garbage disposal leaking smells and fruit flies

like dungeon breath

the hair-clogged sink and the shit-rimmed toilet

the stains on the fridge


dog piss puddles dried up on the concrete balcony

bug-dust and freeway smog in the back on the fan

the mattress still on the fucking floor

and the eggs hatching underneath it


I’d invite you over but

then you’d see I only make a living wage

that the school bell rings each morning

and I rise with it to pledge anthem


You’d see that I pack lunch in produce bags

and need to go to the store for more dandruff shampoo

the bank for a cash discount on gasoline

and the post office to send in my monthlies for parking tickets

before the city eats me


After all, there are papers to grade,

calls to make, sins to forget, and

this three dollar wine won’t pour itself

on my carpet, I need to work tonight

to make money to feed these roaches


so I can one day let them out from the glass,

and send them free

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