In high school, he was a geek.
but they didn’t know that in Jersey.
They called him Cali,
impressed that this white boy from the west survived the streets of Long Beach.
Only a freshman yet somehow he infiltrated the in crowd.
For the first time in life he felt esteemed,
and after tonight, initiation day, everyone would know his name.
Pledging was insane but the strong survived.
He would be Greek no matter the price.
Phi Kappa Tau
“Learning. Leading. Serving.”
Raving. Humping. Gulping
down lemon flavored Vodka by the liter.
The crowd cheered as his liver flexed and shifted to 5th gear.
He could hear the respect he craved.
Big brothers and babes chanting his name.
Slamming the conquered bottle on the table,
he made out with a stranger,
then collapsed on a bed of beer cans and red cups.
No one bothered to pick him up as the party chugged on.
Minutes later someone notice he had yet to rise.
Someone noticed his eyes, all white.
Someone notified the police.
Everyone heard sirens, ringing,
like the church bells that Sunday,
when hundreds before him bowed, heads to their breasts,
giving him, finally, respect.


from The Man Without A Name, released February 16, 2013



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Micah Bournes Long Beach, California

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