Elzein Elzein at Q Management
Salieu Jalloh by Cliff Watts
My religion is too complicated to fit into a pastor’s heart. It roams the walls of skyscrapers and dwells in the gutters of Hollywood Blvd. It’s a wild gnashing sound in quiet fields that terrifies the sheep. And on stormy nights, it sits in the puddles of bare open plains and soaks itself through. Beggars can’t be choosers. Therefore, I choose it all because there are Swarovski crystals in every temple.
I’m making it work, okay? You smashed my head into steeples and stained glass, and I’m just now beginning to pick up all the pieces.
I know I want to see the devil die slow.
Their smiles are white and straight and radiant.
They wear daffodil crowns and purple robes.
Two mutant rats snarl on hind legs behind the brick path.
I stand among them, stripped naked before them.
"Welcome to New York."
I cried for the couches.
We sat under palm trees with
the warm not-quite-summer breeze
shifting on our bare shoulders.
There were twinkling lights in mason jars
and nobody had broken any glass yet so we walked barefoot.
I pulled out a bic lighter from my pocket and lit up a cigarette.
My worries were weightless and I felt like I belonged.
It was the first time I felt rightfully at home,
connected to my independence; my dreams and the future ahead.
I took a sip of blue moon
because it was there in front of me
and the girls in fedoras said I should.
I never knew it then but it was all going to end and I was going to grow up and there was going to be no stopping it. There would be no notice of it. Everything good in that moment would vanish one day soon and everything dangerous would set in until I made the choice to flee far from it all.
I saw the couches today, for the first time since that not-quite-summer breeze and I cried because it had happened so wonderfully once.
Throw out the cigarettes and dunk them into the garbage bin, along with all those bottles of beer and sangria laying around your living room. Pack your bags and head towards redemption.
It’s been a dandy time of sunshine and chicken wings,
but the heat has scorched your good sense and brain cells.
You can’t stay in a place that tears at your skin and botches your heartache up with organic cinnamon pastries. You need a heart transplant, you coldhearted snake! Open up the blinds and see the darkness around you. The dogs bark out of fear of the very moment that is now and they bark for you because you’re the only one still awake.
The city begs for you to stay, it loves you like one of it’s own; even if you are a goddamn transplant! It’s opened it’s walls up and so have you. But the ocean’s tide is swelling up in all your empty cavities and you will drown if you do not evacuate.
It’s just you, at bay, in the LA river and that shit stank.
Open your heart up to the friendly smiles and smells of New York. Their garbage is new and fresh. Ready to be devoured by little street rats like you. Isn’t it wonderful?
Now eat your heart out and get the fuck out of here.
The rain is tapping on the roof of the midwest
(a resting ground for those of us who dream too hard)
and as it hits the sidewalk it takes out all the dirt still smudged on the windshield of my smoggy LA Impala I had shipped back from the west.
As I shut my eyes, I can feel the majestic uncertainty rushing in waves over my whole body in one thick swooping motion.
I shiver slightly. It feels like magic being dusted down from the heavens. I make a wish. I make two wishes. Hell, I’ll make a third one just for the hell of it:
I wish to find myself in a complete way and I wish for the bravery to express it all outwardly; openly and freely at every place my feet may touch. Now is that one wish or two? I wish to impact the world in a lasting and positive way.
I’ve got a lot of thinking to do. My soul isn’t something I can wrap up between two palm trees. The complexity of me is worth searching for. I hate ending sentences in prepositions. I want to be heard. I want to be experienced.
I feel that if I could just push the bricks a little further to the left I could truly see in color and that would be wild indeed.
BOYSKISSLOVE. Your place to be!
sometimes it hurts to keep my eyes open because the longer they stay open the longer things start slipping away and the longer things start slipping away the longer i feel that i’m wasting it all or that life has no meaning which feels entirely too true to handle when you’re just laying in bed hoping to achieve something but you don’t know what and you don’t know how to achieve it or if it’ll make you feel better that things keep slipping away from you and that almost everything is always out of your control.
i’ve been sexting lately. it feels like i’m pulling the covers off my soul and wondering if i made the bed a mess or if it’s finally accessible.
i overthink everything.
my friends are disintegrating into cyberspace. i still haven’t opened my suitcases from LA.
i’m dreaming of tomorrow,
of 17 days,
of new beginnings,
of the unknown possibilities that spring up from nowhere
because i dared to dare to dare.
Climbing up into the clouds,
I look down at the ants who scatter below.
I won’t fall through the floor
or plummet to my death.
The sidewalks have become pillows anyway.
Nothing to do but watch the corn grow,
inch by inch, you’re going nowhere
till dinner time. You bide the boredom
by texting boys till they get bored too.