How long is long enough?

  1. 15 at a fish restaurant
    old man who I serve
    sees to break me before
    he breaks into his meal.

    His knife skis through the fillet
    as easily as he says: spic.
    He is a relic, a monument
    people will keep propped up,
    swear will die someday,
    one day or one day

    I will break a statue
  2. Badges look like stars
    on John Wayne's breast

    sorry Sheriff, you ain't
    my hero no more.

    after a mouthful of dirt
    you forget how the sky tastes.
  3. Brown faces believing in imaginary numbers.
    Edward James Olmos covered in chalk—
    I remember wondering how long or how far infinity was and what dreams
    looked like on the other side of it.

4. My boss at Burger King hates Spanish speakers.
He's the third boss I've had make the point to tell me.
I'm 17.

  1. In what I think is the basement
    or the boiler room
    is the classroom saw dust and children

    The teacher calls us wet, dark names
    pet names or names she cackles at—
    we miss the joke. Perhaps,
    we're too small to
    know what's funny but

    we miss our last teacher. The one
    whose name sounded big like ours.
  2. You're thirty-four-years-old and your television
    is a blood splatter. One network
    swears you're overreacting, tells you your fears
    are plastic skeletons; another network screams
    you're in danger, always.

    You don't want to bring children to bear this world:
    plastic skeletons or not, they're bloody; they're scary as shit.
    They're all you've known.

7. I can go on forever.

Christopher “Rooster” Martinez is a writer and spoken word poet from San Antonio, TX. He earned an MA/MFA in the Creative Writing, Literature & Social Justice at Our Lady of the Lake University.
Christopher co-founder of the Blah Poetry Spot, a local poetry open mic and community organization. His work has appeared in such places as the Button Poetry, The Huffington Post Latino Voices, Pittsburgh
Poetry Review, Acentos Review, and self-published chapbooks.