One day tomorrow will start without us, & all our loves
will beg to be that which begins after a full stop—
In a dream, I keep mistaking my mother’s hand for a gun.
In that dream, all bloodstains are bleached & my
father returns back to us like he never left for the war.
As a child, it never is easy to watch something walk
into a room & come out alive. Even the body of my best
friend betrays itself when brought in contact with the knife.
God, I am asking for lean years & for the wild iris to be
beaten soft into bare light. I want to live again, that memory
of all undead things I love gentle & quieted into sleep.
I am afraid the child in the parlor lying chest-flat on the rug
might not be rehearsing a screenplay for death. I don’t know
what to make of the time ebbing away with the seasons.
In the end, the last game is still the photograph of you
walking like you never left. Asking the boys where you
could have lived if winter had destroyed your hut & the ants
never infested your wood. The defoliant sprays & the
secateurs are never just enough to keep the treacherous
weeds away. Here, maybe in a memory clean as spring,
the mud won’t turn red. The story of the man that used
to climb a sycamore would be told to children with fat bones
in their mouth & much to eat. In my heart, I am scared of
being the only one left. To rupture into night & be clipped with
flight. I am seething & writhing in pain, wondering if God
knows about the scared animal struggling for its life in the web
of a spider. I am counting the rain pelting & gathering in a
hammock— I know sometimes, that the language for loss
is sometimes a knuckle. & that what bars us from death
is only between one gravity & the next. This weightless state.