each New England home you’ve moved into
and out of
creaks the same
under my changing weight.
the porch sags,
sporting chipped paint
from years of cigarette breaks
spent shuffling, feet dug into wood
flimsy locks and screeching mailboxes,
the basement granite walls
and clunks of the laundry machine,
speak to me in familial hums
as if to sing,
the same centipedes
scurry by my feet
as water falls deafeningly
I’m frozen in time.
staring empty-eyed into these brimming closets,
my vision strains.
gleams across shut picture books of
nothing left but old habits
found, as tools to our escape.
even I’m still slipping up,
and into the courting beds of lost men
mothers looking to me longingly
bearing sad smiles and gifts, as they lock the liquor away.
every son’s depression tugs the same short leash
knowing this much,
home is a sad that
hangs dry in the cool thick air,
a sad that feels like November
like drenched rain coats, muggy with our heat
and after school how we
sailed paper boats
just to watch them drown in storm-sewer drains
home rings like
the bell of every summer heartbreak,
which coddled me to sleep
then too, shook me sharply.
only to find myself deserted
a ship at sea,
my heart buried in sand, again.
the heavy drought before the rain
it stands on our heads
it dances past our eyes
it lives in our reflections
as if to say
we’re not allowed to cry.