ANYTHING BUT AIR
What was it like
for you to stand
feet wavering over black lattice drop?
High above the Monongahela, you
high on whatever you said was dope
to you at the time.
What made you jump, become swallowed
by the jaws of the current, your ribs cracked
lungs full of blood & water?
Did the friends you were with
push you off the Hot Metal Bridge?
Did they tell the pigs, I didn’t know
he couldn’t swim?
Lifeboat paramedic caught you
by the hood of your sweatshirt.
Pulled you in, back turned to her
your limp arm still cradling torso.
HOW TO SURVIVE
after Jeffrey McDaniel
Climb tops of pine with padded winter gloves
during barbeques. Feed Cool Ranch Doritos to toads
buried in manure. Make sure the neighbor kids know
that Santa Claus isn’t real. Kick vending machines
until all the money falls out & play striptease games
behind community centers on Halloween nights. Lust after
each other & murderous Anthony Hopkins films. Don’t change
your first name, only last. Be known only as faggot.
Cook up DMT on the stove with soap in your eyes & blow lines
off your nephew’s play piano, blow a thousand dollars. Down bottles
of anything you can you’ll die if you don’t learn how to revive
yourself & your friends—refuse to attend your own life
or the funerals of Olivia, Donny, Aaron, Buddy, Gaby, Austin
refuse to believe so many of us are dead.