Ambulance Song


i couldn't sleep for shit last night
i am hungry and restless and full of fire

the trees outside are dead
not seasonally dead
they are chopped down
the trees outside are brick houses
and grumpy people at a bus station
and ten million ambulances

there are so many ambulances that come down lincoln avenue
so many heart attacks and strokes and so many states of emergency

i've learned to sleep to the sound of them
to close my eyes during never ending catastrophe
cuddling up with a baseball bat

because the ambulances just keep dancing down the line like some weird concrete form of synchronized swimming the most efficient and expensive taxi cab you'll ever take

it's fascinating to think that i might ride in a hearse someday
and never know

or maybe i'll be elsewhere
picking apples off the heaven tree
stealing third base with Eve
in the shade

and peeping down through the marshmallow heaven clouds
i'll say hey—i'm riding in a hearse
and i'll say hey—now these fuckers care about poetry
i'll say hey i never said that! i didn't even like that guy

because everyone is best buddies with a dead poet they knew everyone is thick as thieves with the man in the casket

i do have to say it's worth it
this life
if only for these moments
a grilled cheese sandwich
a first orgasm

sleeping in when you're a bitter shithead adult
and pissy at your inability to live the life you want

you could drown in it
you could down it like whiskey every day

life is a love song for the hedonist
death is a parade for the realist

margarine is butter for people who think death isn't real
a grilled cheese made with margarine is like a sad handjob

i'm euphoric for the opportunity to live each day
i am blessed and kind to be in this dream
the protagonist scrolling across this 4k television
i will live hard and eat the things placed before me
but you bet your ass i will burn the fat off my heart
i am holy and desperate and full of moonlight
i am hungry and restless and full of fire

i couldn't sleep for shit last night
i just tossed and turned

i closed my eyes and died in psychedelic bursts of raging color like spirits in the river styx reaching out their decaying hands death is the final revolution and most definitely not televised i closed my eyes and saw a ballerina dancing on a lake of fire she floated across the flaming pond but did not succumb to it bulletproof to the heat she moved in rhythmic time to a song to a song that i could not hear for it was not my song to hear she heard something i did not know

i couldn't sleep for shit last night
i just tossed and turned

and caught up in headache i pulled out the old timey calculator and i tallied up my problems one at a time cross-categorized and i dug in to see what the algorithm was numbers floating strange algebra and cosines and lines of best fit floating through the air i realized i had a metric shit ton of problems and then i counted my blessings

and i got too caught up in the poetry of my blessings
to care about the math of my problems

i couldn't sleep for shit last night
i just tossed and turned

i guess i'll sleep when i'm dead



Brice Maiurro is a poet and writer out of Denver, Colorado. He has been posting his work on Flashlight City Blues for years and can be found performing at open mics around the city. His poems and stories have been featured in the online Literary Magazine Word Riotin Denver Lit Mags Suspect Press and Birdy Magazine, as well as on the Denver Poetry Map. He was also featured in Poetry Now by the Denver Post, which highlighted local poets.

Brice runs a monthly poetry open mic, called Punch! Drunk! Poetry! at Mutiny Information Cafe.