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.

 

You struck the rock, prophet

with a shovel until 

yellow cryptograms strewn out

rose in the breeze relieved the

rustling of bible leaves on your neck.

Broke your voice for us like

a pomegranate offered me a seed

with pain in your face I liked

to stare at and searching

my head frantic, your eyes were a little boy

 

some treasure always spread encrusted

under the first layer of earth

handed us linens and grandmother quilts

to cover over ground. You ached 

for a death 

we’d need to stir the dirt

a stir perhaps pull out a waif

in your old clothes. people-

clients told me despite it all

I looked like the soul

of my father. A sacred pause

in me each instance. That night

I stirred through my head words 

to find a gentle lure for your ghost

without you even knowing.