Enough shiftless hotel lobbies –
soon chlorine becomes home.
Pops left a mammoth cave in my bedroom door
upon premature departure, flew his truck
straight through it.
Monsters from deep –
horned, winged, cloaked shadowlings –
crossed the veil, cursed me an omnipotence.
The summer our distance thickened,
everything else was thin. My hollow body,
gilded air, cerulean atmosphere
splayed across vision.
Labyrinthine tongues howled their way up my
bottle mouth, no language of man.
Guttural prayers, sound alone. An unyielding grief.
When Pops rammed the steel chariot through
veins, capillaries, chambers, out the walls of
my heart, leaving a five-point wound, I had
nothing corporeal. Slimmed
Feeling this first sorrow
A second utterance.
Autumn citronella hands on sultry air,
sets off memory tucked away in
folds of my skullscape.
I have elongated epochs since to keep it
Strongboxed, creased its tulle into
When the daydreamt animal circus
miraged into opaque blocks disintegrates,
decrepit in my imagining,
I am just as
Just as I always have been.
And here I thought myself grown.
My baby drowses here
then he is over there – the crib empties –
then he is me
When I am
Just as sleeping
beneath a Lansing windowpane
atop hallowed cracked pinewoods
beside the dog’s breath that reminds me
I’m still drowning in Clapton’s river of tears.
I had held this agony at a safe offing.
Just as come back
ricochets into God’s breezeway.
When memory sails home, dog-eared and worn,
All I am is
a balloon’s rapid deflate before
my shape’s given.
A body bereft its liquid soul.
Torn sepia guts of the Pilgrim cassette
left unrewound and spilled.
Alone on my bedroom floor.
Eating dust for hunger.
If Praying Mantis gathers us in the smoke-filled
restaurant of a hotel lobby;
If the man-bug cradles
his elbows and turns down his eyes;
If the nostrils blossom and
the lips iron tight;
If he is stoic as he wind tunnels the words
to you and brother;
If his pointer keeps tap tap tapping his elbow;
If he says it;
If he says it; if he means it –
flood fast to the floor to hide your visage.
Study the carpet’s paisley, its swimming
coy fish tears,
table’s gum-littered underside,
rather than his spear-lined talon,
outstretched toward your body.
Squint tight with desperation
to teleport. Origami crumble into littered scraps.
Dissolve desire to witness his flesh devoured
by this new mate.