And today my one strife is emblazoning incisions in a tome
For an open-heart surgery. And today I beat against – beat my body to a pulp –
Stone archways and doorways all through an imaginary Rhine divested of
Character. The phrase “I’m poor” wringing my inner-ear like cat candy.
Today I feel – how worthless –“I feel” “I feel;” These are completely words
I churn into a somnolent machine who refuses to transmit joy,
And cracking the code means putting your head in an oven.           What?

Our House

The cancerous floral proliferation of a creative-minded child

Can conjure rabies in a Dad like Snow White’s poison apple.

 

It goes: fresh undulating capillaries form, at dreamtime, ‘neath

The foundations of a country home conjoining not one, but four

 

Four children to the central Nervous system of a hardwood,

cross-borne body turning every virgin dandelion to oak

 

They cast each stem in pitch and resin

instill the fear of God in amber bones.

The cinders dance like lightning bugs

Over the bonfire’s conflagrating trepidation.

My father’s turn for Sundayschool unearthed
In tender minds the same way as a newborn
Full-breath, how fear could molt a ripened fruit
for squeezing like a heart to taint to taste to rule
And juice, mingled with the old pages splayed
My father’s gospel was beating drums.
To scare the devil with hot fruit fire and
His phobias, with stone bodies flexed
And I did, I smelled citrus in the cemetery.
Strung like beads of light amidst the graves
We did not wake the rocks with laughter
They’d think our feet were thunder.

To Nobody

You are beyond intrigue, luminescent when you fill a room.
I adore the flip of your feathery hair, the chestnut glow, your essence
I am filled with light and softness
Your laugh is the very meaning of joy.
I appreciate your nose. Your jaw, your shape, the way you light up and crinkle under your own smile, shyly, boldly, blushing.

Until you’ve slept on river rocks alone

Or worn a dying shroud of ants like lace

You’ve loosed your cold water skin from the bone

Clutched your self closed curled down, chanting grace

To the ancestors in your wounds who drink

The screams of nations for their strength, wipe the

Red from your mouth like a honeybee, gorged

On the ember of the salt and burn.

But a flick,

And their drums clamoring up,

Ashes to ancestry

Descendants to dust.

Trying is digging up under old skin

Try writing about pain.
Never rests on the skin it is
Within inside, the depths, always,
the down the browbeaten city by city
Tar-black for miles open wounded rubble
Un-glowed organs sticking under bridges
Reverse emanation, the dusty heat and exhaust
A filthy wilted wrist like a child’s and
Is brown. Is brown like a sinking ship
The splintered wood like incense
Brown and thusly dim
Scrub it raw til it—
So many things are like,
Something that doesn’t
Exist in language.

Each photograph mother stark with specific eyes.
Ghostly bright in search, tearing fear
Fearing find or a fresh fruit-crisp birth next
Formula tubes too formulated to rot second chances,
Third chance, a headdress of food stamps,
Pa’lante.

You my ever looming father sleeveless
battered body leant to a small cat.
You emanated into her
your stored, storm, clearwater countenance boiling
Out into not saying everything ever and you cupped,
Vowing your rough palms,
Your hands around a final marigold when
You shielded it
From sun.