Suspenders and Sunglasses

I went to a poetry reading.
A small gathering of black clad
people wearing dark sunglasses
in the early evening gloom.

One young man wore plaid pajama bottoms.
His bright red suspenders supported
dank meth abused words as well
as his pants.

A woman in horizontal stripes voiced
images of flight high over cities
connected through past lives
and longing.

The man with the funny hat
spoke of sensible things and death
in practical words sprinkled
with desiccated humor.

The poet claimed indigenous lineage
yet did not fit the description.
He spoke of the Indian way
and of sex. Oh fuck.

Others in black and fishnets pour their words
bubbling with pain or violence or longing
into the audience held silent by emotion
or boredom.

At the end a moment of realization.
I don’t want the angst and longing. I’m
not cool enough to wear sunglasses
in the dark.