Stolen – Hilary Tellesen
It wasn’t big—
a little thing on the dresser
that smiled at me like she never did.
When I put it in my pocket it grew
with a heat like a meteor
I told myself was love
It confessed stories
of delight and shame
that grew overnight.
Like a kiss gone terribly wrong
I tried to put it back,
but there wasn’t any place.
I had to hold it,
look at it, knowing
it was all fucking mine.
Gentrification Is War On The Poor – Rachel Myles
He came from a different world
You couldn't swallow mine
Meat seasoned with our blood is bitter
And don't taste so good
But that never stopped you from coming to our hood
From letting me teach you about alcapurrias
And how to roll backwoods
You say we ugly
We a bad people
But that doesn't stop you from encroaching on our hoods
My people are hungry
Eat the rich
I hear they taste good
Push us to the outer rims
Push us back to a place where y'all can sleep at night and feel good
Now you own the hood
Taking the land where our ancestors stood
How do you sleep at night
Stealing cribs from children
You've already deemed them no good
Breaking Down Stealing – Izeck Don't Steal My Work
If property’s an ideal, what can be stolen?
If you don’t think there’s “to steal”, will it make folks less emboldened?
What if stealin’s calling lives veal, something not to be beholden?
Or is stealin’ calling things teal, a color, maybe golden?
Naming, blaming, gaming
Taming, shaming, craving
Is stealing just owning things other than self?
Just something that you can put on a shelf?
Is Santa stealing hours from his workers, the Elf?
Are sheep being stolen from the Big Bad Wolf?
Is time stealing my life away day by day?
Is distance stealing material things far away?
Is gravity stealing space from us, keeps us at bay?
Is the horse eating grass, stealing landowners hay?
What a lark!
Respiration — Natalie Windt
I’m thinking mostly about the breath that’s stolen. The way cold air steals the life from my lungs.
I’m walking through side streets with some muralist and I feel freezing, invisible hands reach down my throat and to the tubes-- constricting, suffocating me. It’s not that bad, or that far to walk and my lips could turn blue as the spots dancing in the sky above me. I’m smiling because seizures are a romantic afterglow to having your breath taken away.
And I want the time that this will also take from me, being reminded of my own frailty. The time the depression gives way from the depression of my lungs, and the lack of thinking I can do when I can’t respire.
I keep hearing my doctor say “every time your threshold gets lower, with every (insert lung disease here) and the particles in the air attach themselves to you, there's basically no escape” a lot like the sucker-fish people, who keep taking my things; bikes, money, and dignity-- all of which I need.
This sickness, I don’t. It’s taken enough.
Glances, too, I want those to stop. Like the concern in the muralist’s face for my lack of stamina. Stop stealing glances, I’m a human being.
And the panic, the panic, it's taken so much.
I reach into my bag and think which is it: Klonopin, Albuterol or both? Lately, asthma gives way to existential attacks from a lack of oxygen. And what a cruel fucking circle that is.
My hands tremble to find a way to take the pill, puff the sulfate and close my eyes, enjoying the ride of knowing this sole consolation:
that one day, soon maybe, it will steal me away completely.