all the paths i could travel & jane doe

Here’s an excerpt from my poetry collection, A Thousand Bullets Gone Astray:

all the paths i could travel

All the paths I could
travel are pointing me
in 360 directions

Which path I choose
is hard for me
to imagine.

If I move in one direction
the circle collapses and
my path becomes fixed

I can’t help but wonder
what would happen if
I chose another path

Where would that one lead me
What would I be giving up
What would I become?

You can be or do anything
you want, so the words go
and that’s true.

The problem isn’t lack
of choice; it’s too much
choice that spends my head

Which path to choose I
cannot tell, so I stand still
keeping the circle in tact.

BONUS Excerpt:

jane doe

it’s cool she said,
put your hand on
my thigh

ordinarily I would
comply, but you see
i don’t know her name

she smiles, shifts in
her seat, asks: ‘how
about my toe?’

i say, ‘I don’t know
is this a game?’

you’re cute, she says
but just the same, can
you massage my back?

she moves her hair
aside to make room
for my hands

before long we’re
in the sack, i still don’t
know her name

she came just the same
called me a girl’s name

shannon i think it was
or maybe heather

i forgot when she
broke out the leather

the things she did
with a feather made
me come like a cannon

the sun chases
the moon
from the sky

she slips on
her dress, kisses my
nipple and says
good-bye

i beg for more

too late

she closes
the door

i try to call her
but i don’t know
her name

now I see her
everywhere, the
bus, the train
the crowded shops
and playing fields

she even turned up
once at a school recital
in a black bridal dress
made of leather with
strips of feathers
around her waist

now every girl i see
that looks like her i
want to run and ask:

are you the one
who left me in bed
rummaging through
every female name
in my head looking
for one that would fit
you?

they shake their heads
no and scurry away
in haste,

no wait, don’t go
are you my jane doe?

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