When I was a child
my father used to take me
to a field by our house to launch
model rockets into the air. My sleep,
then, was haunted by fallout Soviet communist.
We’d watch the grey streamers streak their way toward
what, he assured me, was not heaven.
Driving to some nowhere field (too fast to late)
and blue-light, flashing, a moment and then
tasting the hood of my car while the band-radio
mutterers explosive and terrorist.
ONCE THE MEMORY OVERTAKES YOU SURRENDER CALM CURRENTS ROUGH OCEANS PIOUS GRAVES WALK THROUGH CLOUDS
of vapor haze; but liquid
first drunk punching through cellophane tin foil chicken wire and then sorry sarcasm joy sorry regret understanding, regret
Walking in Worcester, MA
We weren’t so much walking
as picking our feet from between shards of colored glass,
cigarette butts, these small reminders of yesterday.
And the day before.
And the day before that.
As if this city were ever clean.
Our legs pumping blood between us,
circulation cut-off. Blood pooling
in the feet, fingers− your hands turning dark with blue like the ocean-water seen
from the travel-agency billboards peering over
your neighborhood’s shrunken shoulder.
With the crackling of chicken-bones beneath your soled feet I realize that these shapes of hands and legs and eyes dancing about from children to cars to refuse have been tied off.
Day and night, the same subsistence
seen through boarded up windows.
“This is how it has always been, hasn’t it?”
If I were to resolve to scrape my palms
I would reconstruct your chickens, paste blood and sinew to their discarded frame.
“This is how it has always been.”
These bones your balled fists crushed under my feet.