Every single ******* one of you will spruce it up until it’s a bone-thin grin reflecting off the lens. Dress it up like a queen until she’s dragging her heavy pageantry. A millstone into the deep end. But I know every story, every wound, every memory. The grey morning greenway walk. The gimlet at 308 and flamingo manhattan. The soiled cloth sprayed into the porcelain pit. The carnal scent of ******. The animal bones gathered. The hot pink brain splatter from the axe. You can paint the subject as a father, a lover, or a son. But he’s never been more than a stepping stone. Smooth and mediocre. But when skipped across the water, he’s free at dawn.
I see a lone moose bellowing at the end of the world. From a neighboring ice cap, I kneel until my bones scream. & in a sweater poorly knit, I sing one last song to the three souls split from my own.
I know you hate me. Foals ripped from a home. A kitchen beam to hang all things lovely. But Rochelle rusted clean & chariots dragged us into new things unfolding on a serpent’s tongue. I see a hollow carcass in the shed drained of plasma.
What remains is spirit. A whisper of hope. Can you hear it? From the lips of an antique angel on a tree. You & you & you & me. Grey spaces in between. & when the loaf is cut in half will there be room for forgiving?
Grandmother clock longing to tock. Her second hand pleading to sweep the face. Graze the six or touch the twelve. It had been a long stretch of silence since the lithium drained.
Grandfather bottle is empty too. He hit that babysitter like the side of a parked car. The chrome finish—split. It had been a long stretch of time since he avoided a headline.
Son long gun hanging on the wall. Displayed like the prey he sprayed with powder. A face unrecognizably rouged with bits slipping down the drain. It had been a long stretch of night since he loved his own blood.
Father three candles on a window sill. A distance spread like an animal hide. Brittle to the touch—no formaldehyde. He reaches into the moonlight, but it had been a long stretch of days since the flames touched his meager face.
Mother/daughter save us with your grace. A gentle tick of forgiveness like the unnumbered hours in this temporal place. We do what we can & then try again in this vacuum of humanness & deep void of space.
I’m salivating for vermouth like sand in my throat. There’s an app for that. Add to cart. Juniper berries and high tea. Click. Scroll. Oil of the rind. Transaction cleared, but I’m dying on the vine. I need dissociation. Scroll. Scroll. Too many apps to tap. Into a black hole. Stirred into the perfect dilution. Update my software. I need a golden ratio. Cross my heart and pay the fines. I am a fermented thing. Twisted onto the rim of the goblet of time.
Did I once lubricate the sun? I don’t know. But I milked the golden hour before the moon began to devour. Skin stretched thin & bones banging (around). The thrumming drum of a pulse. A flesh sack, flannel-wrapped. I am what remains of a cold sunset. My stretch marks reach to touch places once fuckable, now not. Bacteria bubbling my cheeks. Kiss the peaks & disguise the disgust. I am the cold side of the bed—uncomfortably numb. Amoeba black & skinny jeans in the trash. Concealed in soft matte. Becoming unseen will be my greatest & final act.
Collar my throat and pull until it chokes. Rip me into a smile & hairspray the grin. An aluminum can to lacquer the split ends. “Everything’s fine”, he says. For the love of god, call the guards when I’m carving the walls with my claws. Zip-tie my zealous thoughts and draw my blood. Tap the microphone and read the results. The infection sings like a loon bellowing. Soon I’ll be gone. & with your leash tightening, I scream: “Be wary, my children of the master. His ways are tricky and his fingers are alabaster.”
You wince. Wave your tears like a flag. Weeping for the hellfire perceived to lick me up. But let me tell you daddy-o…I’m a snack. Your nightmare of a son. A ****-*******, pearl-clutching heart attack.
The shape of me is still here.
The one you taught to bait a hook & reel in a catch. There are two worlds whose shoulders brush. A bobber in a still pond & a broken back. Frog legs in a bag, battered & fried. The other fathers cried. A ****** mess.
The shape of me is still here.
Mutilated, yes. Kissing the flame & wiping the wet from your eyes. Can you comprehend? Have you even tried?