Abstergo Invictus

Bitter frost
Warm hearts

South Tacoma Way
There to slam poetry
Signed up
Signed you up, too

Waited for you
To get dropped off
‘Cause your dad
Didn’t know this event
Wasn’t extra credit

We waited for Real Art
A stand-up show
To perform in
But it never happened

We signed up
And left for dinner

Across the street
Stonebank oven pizza,
Maybe
The place was shady

4/20 party set to blaze
Up in the front we were
In the middle of decorations
Laden with herbs and balloons

Chatting about
Changed reputations
Words rolling right
Off the tongue

But the back
Was a bar so seedy our waitress
Gave us a receipt
For someone else’s drinks

Paying for a whiskey
And a shot of vodka
Not meant for you or me

And we were offered crackers
And cannabis on a silver platter

No sooner did we
Think we were
Strapped for time
Did I admire the time

Evening 8:25
This neon vibe
You and I

Sheening blackrock top
And shiny store lights

Windy on the
Sidewalks
Where we waited,
I was warden

A watchdog
In wonderfully dirty
South Tacoma uncertainty

According to you
I’m not the person
I was once
Thought of to be

Stripped off, unconquered

Noctem ambulantes
By roadways and factories

Goosebumps and bone chill
Like when you listen
To good music’s heat
In the moment

Expectations evolve
Altered
Hearts and minds yet
Unconquered

“Nitor
Advocato.
Devoveo
Ingenium.
Nostrorum
– Esque.”

Tarrid, la yaqhar,
Den
Parthenos Olympos.
Ab-ster-go in-vic-tus!

Expectations evolve
Altered
Hearts and minds yet
Unconquered

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