Surrogate Hell


A man calls
and asks if we have a book that will help him
stop beating his girlfriend.

I put it on hold for him,

he never picks it up.

Mom has worked in restaurants her entire life,
it is easier than the alternative.

The alternative is trying


There is a poetry book
girls continue to ask for.

“Excuse me, Miss?
Do you have that book? The one with the black cover?
The one about boys, heartbreak, orgasms?
The one with the poorly written poems?
The one that insults every writer who has ever tried hard?
The one that is the poetic equivalent of the Twilight novels?
The one with poems that go something like this?


I loved him on my knees.
Fiercely, he withdrew his gaze from mine
Now the bathtub listens to my lullabies.”
I am laughing at her- NYT bestselling ‘millionaire’ poet.
I am 25, still in undergrad, soon to graduate to ‘poet’ joke of the century.

I tell mom
I don’t want to end up like you,

As we sit in the basement on her brown couch,
third cigarette in thirty minutes.

I can’t tell by the formation of the wrinkles
deep in her face if she is glad I said this,
or upset that I recognize her faults.

A family of three
not donaldtrumpwhite, walk through
the glass doors.

The child sees a book [ghost]written by trump,
yells EW, donald trump is ugly!

The dad grabs the kids arm, looks at me,
looks around the bookstore,
says to his kid-
you can’t say things like that in public. he’s the president,
you don’t know who is listening.


There is a man that is looking
for a book,

Sir, can I help you with anything today?

He walks past me, he walks past my coworker
who is wearing a hijab, if that matters. Apparently it matters.

He walks over to colin, asks him for help, says he doesn’t
want help from
women or muslims or blacks, if that matters. Apparently it matters.


I am walking to my car
at 1145pm on a Friday
after working a 9 hour shift, and I am tired.

He pulls his car up to me, says
you’re so beautiful, really great, I love your tits, what’s your name? where are you going? you got a boyfriend? you must make your boyfriend really happy looking like that, don’t you?

Ok, great, I’m not interested in that, thanks, I’m going to go home now,
I say.

Fuck you, someone should rape you
and teach you how to take a compliment, he screams,
you’re a bitch, not that great looking anyway, bet your boyfriend beats you, and he should. I’d beat you if you were my girlfriend.

Mom says proudly
because hillary is a bitch,
wants women to have 9 month abortions,
she has a sex dungeon in the basement of the white house
with obama and bill, can you believe that?

I say
no, I can’t believe it. that is simply unbelievable!
have you fact checked this? snopes? where are you getting your information?
have you ever met a women who would want to have a 9 month abortion?

She says,
george soros owns snopes!
trump will solve it all! All of it.
the muslims will be banned for beheading our children.
america has been taken over by radical muslims, trump was right!

I say,
that is an interesting point, indeed.
do you have any factual evidence you could provide of any muslims beheading our children
on American soil, on any soil?

She says,
well, nana thinks michelle obama
is transgendered!

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