a broken raccoon
in the black hair
of a toppled
trash can. god
to the eardrum.
father and the stick he swears by.
an iron. the washer of the foot
that will touch
of an erased
home run. and. the soft
of the anxious
I have had to tell time using only repetition. there is a tattoo I want on a body I don’t. I can see what you see in me. none of my sounds echo. I have a son. I prepare for him past meals that leave nothing untouched hoping he’ll learn to chew on his own. he has three rooms upstairs and three down. when his bed can’t move, he says something to a door.
from self-published collection Misreckon (December 2014)
history is a timeline of appetite. I have rubber bands at the ready for when my mother yawns. I cover my baby brother like a grenade. he was born without the potential for further muscle tone. father calls what I do context. I appear like a bruise into a delayed game of hot potato. my sister’s hands are an oven mitt’s dream. I know you’re a hitchhiker and your girlfriend a cannibal but here we suck our thumbs.
the zero courage
in pain. or to be
for that matter
born. it has devoured
of silence. but he had
while the animal
while smoking a cigar in the shadow of a nervous minotaur, my father wrote the book on moral isolation. in it, he predicted there would be a television show about hoarders and that it would turn god into a sign from god. my mother read the book cover to cover during her fourth and fastest delivery. if there were edits, she kept them to herself and put his name beside hers on seasonally produced slim volumes of absolute shyness.
fascinations of the upright
is my father’s
the angel’s mouth is a mouth to feed.
packs a baby
he beats the mother and calls it practice. the washer breaks and he throws the clothes into a full tub and stomps on them while smoking a cigarette. he provokes my image to send him back to his rightful nose. my thick skull is high on my spit.
the mechanics of the beheading begin in isolation.
exiled from what it bumps into, a form
my mother’s dream doesn’t burn.
the boy balances a basketball on his head outside his father’s bar. his mother is somewhere a girl set to play the moon in her school’s version of talent night. his sister is giving birth so calmly her midwife is a male blown away by the fact that it’s only her second time wearing the blindfold I wore to fish. his brother is in therapy to process the loss of others who think we’re gods when we smoke.
my mother as a young woman once attempted
in the car of the train her father took to work
to eat her hands.
it was a story she put an end to
but not before
I lost a tooth
putting my baby
in my mouth
my brother as a baby
too small. one might say
he had the brain
of a snake.
wrapped in a sheet from my mother’s bed, I make my way to the outhouse to show my brother there is a future in smuggling the skin of god. my father is scraping leaves into an empty pool and the earth with a rake. if death speaks briefly, I am in two places that cannot exist without exposure. gone long, it spoke once on the loss of loss.
dad loses a brother while drawing a straight line for a haunted circle
in the shadow
no one replaces my father like my father
it is god’s job to keep the world flat. I stand on a wheelchair to change a light bulb while my brother goes down a hill on the sled sister disappeared from. my parents are the bread and body of arguing sweetly. they eat only when there is more food than can be thrown away. I am hoping the sled does for my brother the nothing it did for me.
of the woman’s
here is what it said, it said
christ I’m close to my face