Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Through Which Things Are Watched Harshly

There’s a wind I recall.

Winter opened its mouth and the breath came.

Gradually, white covered the overgrown places

Of those planted like slabs

In the field. Houses stayed.

Bodies walked through them

Warming their rooms. Their light

Became the amber glow of a urine specimen

Through which things are watched harshly,

As if they might pass out of sight,

Like the dead; we like to say

They are sleeping and how they

Do not know they are cold and blanketed,

That leaves things clean and undisturbed.

Snow has a way of erasing winter’s damage.

This wind I recall.

It must have been the moaning of my father

When the lead casing of his brain would start to glow,

Lighting his eyes to the lurid colors of tiny

Gas flames. And there he would sit, red hand

A greasy rag on his brow. In times like these,

We would lie on our beds stiff as slats,

Wait for the blue coffin of daylight

To slide away from the window,

Praying for blackness to fall

So he would be tricked into sleeping

And we could just forget.


My father would lift the paper bag

To his lips, take in the warm swallows,

Leave his liver to smoldering,

Like a campfire someone left

To stammer in the woods.

The wind, it rattles things.

I believe it is my father turning over, mumbling,

Rapping his knuckles against the rafters,

Knocking his knees against the eaves. The dead,

They are so pitiful. They want to stand up

And limp away on their stilts. They want

To strum a ruckus on their collar bones.

This cannot be so. Snow has a way

Of erasing their faces, just

Like my father’s, boxed in metal,

A far cry from here.

No comments:

Post a Comment