Mar 17

no longer a pink house

where runaways of all ages congregate under a rented roof,
younger ones half fill green notebooks with used words
flutter about needles and weed, color their spiky hair
like would-be feral parrots, flock about low keyed, sleep
passed out on a wooden floor, breathe through broken locks.

no longer a pink house where older ones laugh at each other,
lose jobs below their qualifications, stare at walls between
superstar selves and a nine-to-five, where they run panting
in the smoky, sparkling wake of young ones to forget or
remember, pressing their faces into celluloid star feathers.

no longer the solid pink walls against which you imagine
throwing strips of flesh you rip from your body. you spit
like your ancestors to make walls disappear. they don’t.
so you plan to paint flaking fantasies with the cool green
of notebooks, then to hide inside blank pages and panels.

no longer an inside to the pink house, its walls now panels
of glass against which young parrots crash. wooden floor,
now green grass like see-through notebooks that sustain
unlocked lives. you squeeze through its roofless hallways
your pink flesh, a constellation of molting, faded feathers.

–Sharon Coleman