Tin roofs built by bruised knuckles.

Tin roofs built by bruised knuckles.


Aluminum shingles with newspapers shoved

in the drafts between pretend roofs

and make-believe walls but frigidity

snakes in: bites like dry ice burns.

Winter is a thin tin sheet away.


My lungs fill with snow chilled air:

asthmatic burn and infantile pneumonia.

hunger pangs and stomach eating muscle.

screams: mother’s and my own.

blood is the color of violence.

red is the color of our walls.


My body does not know how to forgive.

It offers no pathway to forget

the times mother embraced

black-eyed nights,

wind creating the cold

of standing alone.