Tagged: the Family

A Cold Oasis

you were promised an oasis,
however cold. heat exists,
but only in waves off
the beauty I see less clearly
a perfect circle exists,
but only when seen
from way up high, backing up
to understand radius
is to understand that everything
in life is the same
in distances from you
to understand desert is to know
that distance travels with you
something like a child
lugging home the parts of
his wrecked bicycle, something about
the spokes on a wheel held
flat like dinner. once at dinner

i called my brother a bastard
after hearing it on television
there was no dinner in my room
no laugh-track. for some children
family is like a studio audience, who
miss the entire taping of a show
from staring down the
marquee bulbs on when to cheer
when to clap wildly
when to worry. a son is like a sun
a daughter is like a donor. a doter?
as a people, we are still learning
the thing i want to tell you
is to be less careful
when made into the middle
everything you want
will stay the same amount away

All This Sand Was Rock

A father doesn’t change
to his son, not that much, like the ocean
the waves will come in sideways
along his forehead

and the son will sit with him
They will sit with the earth doing its
oldest trick and the son will see the slight tilt
of his father, the sacrifice, the sunburnt back

for him to vault from. This time
they talk about the pier restaurant owners
how they haven’t changed and
still call out orders

like bored jazz musicians, rotating
between instruments. The resorts are all
the same. The city at home is clicking
into more city like safety belts

so they drive out here, the father and son
A little girl down the beach
gets stung by a jellyfish. She catches it
herself in an orange bucket

Little by little
their time will get older
things made more
become smaller

The little girl
brings them the jellyfish
her pretty mother
in tow

She covers her daughter
like a fish inside her tentacles. How old
am I
– the father must think – but
how much more there is of me

In The Truck With Grandpa

Grandpa moved the last of the suitcases, then went
around to the bed of the truck to tie something
down. It was his shirt – I noticed when he got back
that all of the gray and half gray hairs on his neck
and shoulders went curling through the headrest,
threatening to tighten like table straps around
my fingers if I touched them. He seemed to
throw his head from side to side, like a horse
calming down. The night’s eye narrowed. Perhaps
we would be the last thing this night would see
before sleeping – a truck leaving, its driver’s soiled
shirt trailing off the bed, and what I saw then
as suitcases, a herd of trampled pigs left open
by the road