When God and You Were Mine
Beneath a Chinese Elm, next to the pink
open claw of a geranium, the buttons
on his arm lie down on a grass blanket
and drink from a silver straw that registers
all the bad weather in the world.
I work at K-Mart and love it; paid in cash,
the intimacy scares the shit out of me.
Dad gets fucked up and sleeps
behind the library like a bird of paradise.
On Sundays, the sea is poured into paper
cups and the telephones hang from the wall
like speared fish. I piece voices together,
wrap them around like a necklace.
Outside, love melts like dirtied snow
while brother, Mom’s sad alter-ego,
waits on a couch for probation officers.
I don’t give off that much light anymore,
and the sparrows have gone underground.
Two brothers drove to the wooden rails
of the desert to smoke crack and line
the world with their aluminum truth.
The bonds of horses. The platitudes of men.
The light at these parties is dim
and a guy I’ve had a crush on for a million years
kisses me in his bed. I take off my shirt,
pretend to lie in the sand, be part-ocean,
first snow, like I’ve been given a candy cigarette.
That’s the summer mom had a piece of her
taken out, then came home and baked a turkey.
On her car dashboard, a photograph
of her son doing life in prison.about the author