Some things you have to learn to keep
to yourself. Davey points two fingers
about where my heart should be
& pulls. “Bam! You’re dead!” Just like that.
This and a thousand times more. I stay up late
worrying about what might explode if I sleep.
Things change at the worst
We are laughing. I am pouring
cinnamon and sugar over warm bread & singing
about love. Always love. Then the long car ride
with my shoes in the back seat.
Past the 5 & Jefferson and down to
the little room where no one ever calls me
by my name.
Matt scoops a handful of ants
into his mouth, claims they get hot the longer
they run across the tongue.
Tips his head back
like he’s waiting for a rain we
only ever talk about. Then it’s unbearable.
So maybe I was never kind.
All my decades amounting to that summer,
when I dug my fist deep into the meat
of a tree. When I pulled out what was inside and
crushed it beneath my fingers,
October rolls in with its heavy shoulders.
The crows come out.
This is not a new story.
I wanted to scream. Tear through truth. How it happened.
But I couldn’t bare the way they stared.
So I set the table. So I swept the floor. So I washed the dust
off the glass and when the light poured in, it sank me.
We were sleepless for weeks. Shaking in the back of her truck
all along to the drive in. The moon, huge and barefaced and ugly.
How no one could look me in the eyes.
Days were only breaks in silence. Fragments, where Animal in me
stirred and snapped and chewed itself. Found anything large enough to love me
and dragged it home.
My mother calls on Monday and I pull myself out. I shovel dirt in
the icehouse. There is a hole where I should be.
A gap. How much meat will be enough? I am hungry. I am missing
and my alone is toxic. Is breathing in the room. This body.This slaughterhouse of empty prayers. At the end of the world
there is dirt. There is what we put in it.