No Outlet/Boundless 

No Outlet
Age 22

Graduate, no job, no prospects 

Home, waitressing again…
Lop off my hair, drink more, take more risks

End up “comprised” by 2 “friends” 

My memory of it a blackness

But the 2 pairs of underwear left at my feet

Testament enough 
Then a young, stupid, arrogant, and manipulating man

Makes it his mission to know

Then, to gaily tell


I go to work

I run as far as I can think to

Days before flight a flurry of tears

Join the circus (really JVC)

End in Bama with 8 strangers

On $140 a month

Working as an AIDS Case Manager 

Got no skills, no education for it

But, I’d had no outlet

Wide Open Spaces
Somehow, in the course of a year,

As hair begins to grow (hallelujah)

And speech begins to slow (ya talk too fast Miss New York)

As my ignorance is exposed (they know you aren’t gay, get over yourself)

And I learn racism includes me (I can’t be seen dating a white girl)

As I write letters with Patty Wheat (just get down your feelings, you don’t have to send them)

And I learn to live with people both like and totally unlike me (you’re eating a tub of grits voluntarily?)

As my clients become real people

And some die with great class – I’m made humble,

As I learn and am mentored by 2 amazing MSWs,

And start some projects of my own, which are pretty damn awesome,

As I visit New Orleans and Graceland,

Chattanooga and San Antone,

I learn for the first time since maybe the ’70s ended

I have Worth

And I’m just beginning…


2 thoughts on “No Outlet/Boundless 

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