Burn out Boy of the Barrio

Burn out Boy of the Barrio

I got the love,
but nowhere to put it.
I got the fire,
but it’s burning my floorboard out–
like the 67 Chevy long road sedan.
Dad fixed an old license plate
with wire
to patch the hole by the accelerator.

I got the spirit,
but not the space to unfold it.
I got the heart,
but not the strength
to show
live it on out.

I’m the burned out boy of the barrio.
Will I, mussed strand hair,
restaurant greased slacks,
fall by the wayside,
opening Mickey D doors
pointing out directions
accepting tips.

I’m the burned out boy of the barrio.
Will I, fingers gray dirt caked,
sweatshirt and jeans worn and powdered,
work for the man,
drink with the boys,
come home to the bitch,
or to the woman–
come home to the fight,
or to the peace–
who am I now?
Burned out boy of the barrio.

Us losers,
we become our retreats.
Us failures,
we become our faces.
Burnt out,
left behind,
a never mind–
but that’s not the end.
Measure me
by the size
of my love
and the shape
of my life.

Disappointment in the family den,
called-out loudmouth,
caught-out daredevil–
OK, fine,
with the lines wearing through
and the mojo fizzing gone.
OK, fine,
But what’re you gonna do about it,
that’s what I’d like to know.

There’s still the walk
along the dock,
still the ships swaying
in the cupping waves,
still the ones who
hear what I say
see what I do
know where I stand.

Burned out boy of the barrio,
but that’s not the issue now.
Will my face crease
smile or frown
squished or open eyes
open or closed?

A man longs for his woman.
Let him forget the wishes
that don’t mean much.
Let him find the path
the place
the people
the person
that help him.
Help him, God around,
find his
keep on keep’in on.


Comments are closed.