A family sits down to a three-course meal.
The father complains about the finances,
The mother complains about work,
The children complain about the food;
And in the next room,
The plasma screen television displays images
Of civil war on the Ivory Coast.
A lovesick boy cries to his friend,
Of the one who has left him,
Of her callousness and cruelty,
Of her unforgivable arrogance;
And the friend to which he speaks,
Has just taken out a restraining order,
On her physically abusive ex-boyfriend.
Three friends sit in a car outside a house waiting for pharmaceuticals.
The driver writhes and scratches with impatience,
The passenger plays games on his smart phone,
The backseat rider lies lengthwise across the seats,
And inside the house a father of five sleeps;
A DUI on his record,
And ten years of sobriety to the date.
The driver turns his head,
And to the backseat he speaks,
“Chris, you just need to grab the reigns and ride life”;
And he in the backseat is reminded,
Of a poem he once read:
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramps;
Guns aren’t lawful;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.*
*Resume by Dorothy Parker