Jon Perez


The fleeting life that accompanied 
the shorn grasses of the campus green—
the play-area that was toppled by
the Berkshires, these details from our teenage years: 
go in peace, broken tumultuous
transgressions—she was shy, and thereof
gave us all the more reason to become
dangerous ideals of ourselves.

The friends we kept changed to the posh
grooming that came later, ugly, it reared 
its moldy head on Wall Street, down corridors 
to The East where men who hit hockey pucks—
Gucci-suited extremes from Puritan backgrounds,
clear cut the forests that coaxed us 
out of ourselves—

it might have been better,
it may have been as easy as denial.


Promises between the older bark
of the imagination that resisted against
the putrid poisonous years, and the cork
that beamed, scabrous, never broke
the clandestine moment of Seventeen, the word Beauty
harnessed like amber sap, spewed thickly
never reluctant to burst.

1999: Litchfield, Connecticut, winter break
treated those private school kids well who slept 
all the way to the city, and joked about 
jumping off at full speed, to tumble
down the track to the twisting ice from the ankle-
deep January freeze.

Outcast—the labor of self-examination
took the fun out of art.

A vision of a farmhouse painted in
the instant from which the bleeding world set.


In the mix, the onset of ignorance, slow
and sequential, cranked across the blank
stare of the older child standing
in front of his mother's grave, white lilies

lifted from the black desk, to commemorate
a passage: or the yellow curtain
as it hung, crippled off the filthy mirror,

Sturdy steed, rippled with muscles
use your jacked hips to kick back the plastic
hurdles across the pew-lined room

for now the only pain is dulling,
as if we had traveled an imperfect trail.


Sweetheart, it was highly personal,
and if more attention was given than
was stolen right under our noses
the claustrophobic interior
may have developed sparse shadows.

The Upper limits of the sky are occupied
by greed.

To take the remaining chunk of heaven
would not shame
even the lowliest of tenants,

during the holiday season, I mapped out the streets:
it is easier to die in love
than to live in hate.


The unborn child sifts through the pliable
body, and embraces the rhythm
that is a priori astray—

the hospital of the heart, self-medication
continually sent back to the sender
like the broken bread of life shared
with other indiscernible denominations.