Jon Tucker Must Live!

I was born in the backseat of a child’s playground
minding my own business, man-child of a conversation
slated to be the next problem
the next argument
the next five knots in your throat
like the most beautiful clog in your tearduct drain pipes
overflowing on some American highway off ramp
off put
exit stage left me
off broadway off center
old man child off his rocker
still swaying on point in his off moments
saying this was a mistake
I must have reminded him of somebody else
I couldn’t have been me
because he mis-took me everywhere
took me for, granted no, wishes I
were not
they say Jon Tucker Must Die but I’ve got
at least a few minutes left here with you
so listen up business man child of yesterday
your fuel is a fossil
on display behind velvet ropes in museums to be studied
while we turn the sun around
to face tomorrows artists
and clean your muddied waters, Mississippi
your bloodied daughters, New York
shining through soot
sparkling on concrete
no longer underneath your foot
we’re rising to meet your clouds, Colorado
to greet your crowds, California
to free your cows, Wisconsin
yes we’re in a new age of abolitionists
uprooting oppression and all its viciousness
for living things must live, Jon Tucker included
no matter the worst thing you did
we know that you’re more than that
and we’ll prove it, Texas
try to improve it, Florida
stay fluid, Maryland
deep beneath basement club music brought to more Baltimore bricks baking
businessmen-children burning with often more than desire, Georgia
more than mobs with murderous fire, Carolina
more than jealousy, Michigan
more than greed, Nevada
we’re not in Kansas anymore, but really we’ve never been there, Alaska
we all burn differently here
and I’m far from home wherever I am, Washington
DC warming and warring the world
and all of it is inside of me
melting my idealism like glaciers
continuing the civil rights movement like an iceberg
90 percent undergroundwater welling up in my chest
stuck up, stuck out like I’m the best
most exceptional, professional cheater
armed checkpoints at my joints
occupying your theater
homeless vets kicked out to my toes and my fingers
shivering and starving with all these over-eaters
inside of me
not caring
Jon Tucker is America, child prodigy and daring
and although he’s not perfect
Jon Tucker Must Live.

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