Tagged: the Memory

Last Poem in this Apartment

I am trying hard
to think of things
that stay in one place
and get better. A tree?
I am not a tree
Trees have almost
written all the poems
I cut myself against them
Nailing plywood down
on lower lines
to lay there, looking at porn
I’d leave my house at night
sometimes to look at porn in trees
Even when very young
I’d walk past a
retention pond of taggers
blowing their colorful
horned instruments
Their illegible, foam names
like those of the animals
Some of us have things
we don’t remember
choosing to be
These are the things I mean

Severed Thoughts of a Blessing

The trees in her yard. I can look them
in the eye. My grandmother throwing the football
My grandmother teaching me things on the phone
like how to clean a fish

A factory, its catch-all basket catching watches
wedding-rings. A tattoo being twisted past the knuckle
All the ways a man can lose his finger. A thimble
for love that is more like a helmet

Being alone. I think of being alone
until by thought I am guaranteed. There’s newspaper
laid on the garage floor. The fish I attempted
to learn on. There’s blood, the drying muscles
my grandmother’s voice saying
Go ahead, you can eat the bones

What Stays After Falling Out

We don’t talk anymore but you left
your hat at my house

And once after classes
you told me you dreamt of an angel
that she asked you to tell
three people of her coming. You were
crying. Our friends played Frisbee
in the bus lane, a neon disc
passing like one halo between them
occasionally dropping.

And the nights driving. On 1626
I stopped at a red light with no one around
You were incredulous, like how
could a color like red
mean stop for boys like us, who bite
the heads off centipedes
and peppermint liquor bottles, many
of which we refilled with water
and placed again
into your mother’s cabinet

I miss that world
you led my hand into
with everything unclaimed
until we touched it

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

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