It is the stubble
I love first
with an envy.
A ridge of scrub runs
along this canyon edge.
I hate hiking.
Near our home there was a garden.
To get there:
hike the canyon edge.
In the garden there is a stone
bench in shade,
faucets of cool water,
dog-bowls to drink.
(A bead of sweat
buries its face into his scruff.)
For God's sake Yes
this is a memory of thirst.
The way saying parched
blows over the drying tongue.
In this moment we are both relentlessly alive.
(Brother, in the garden they said there was a tree for you.)
There is a map in his lips.
I hate hiking, but obviously let's explore.
For God's sake okay
I'll skip the explicit—
Time drifts apart.
On Facebook, he writes that his little brother died.
Suicide, he says.
Near our home there was a forest.
Once, and then a fire.
(brother, do you remember this?)
(brother, it was around when you died.)
For God's sake
I’m sorry, I’ve written again
something about a tree.
for a boy
For God's sake
we water that tree
It is loved so loved.
notes on the fog
after they brought him home,
to the home, all of us lost
It wasn’t solidarity.
decay. My shoulders eroded
from not hitting the gym.
I only write to you when the bad news comes.
You’re tired. Do you want to go to bed? Do you want to just sit?
how does the world make trenches,
if not out of dead fathers?
How does the world make fathers
if not out of driving to school?
(Did he read to you? He read to me too.)
He believed he raised a good son.
He raised a son
who didn’t believe. And when he fell
he fell soundless
into the sea.
And so I use this detergent, and this setting should be fine?
Yes, but don’t wash them with those clothes,
they’re your father’s, they’re contaminated.
Put them on the floor.
Not on top of the dryer,
they will bury him one plot over from you.
this is what I wanted to say:
that the nurse came in
to do exercises with father, sets of curls,
flys, swims. It was a long-
term maintenance thing.
And mother stood up
all banana-yellow sanitary gown
and did them together, too,
and there was a move
the nurse called the Travolta,
and it looks just like you’d think, and our
mother (grave as a stone) bobs on her heels,
wiggles her hips, the nurse counts
the reps, and father is laughing and laughing
and lit in the eyes of the sun
and for a moment a moment
I’d never seen this (have you?)
they’re dancing again
long parts of me are still wolves.
elegy for Third Engineer
For you, in the background of the movie,
riddled with bullets then spin-kicked
into glowing green goo
by Our Hero, Saint
Chiseled-Jaw who bursts in
at third act to save us all from
whatever. He's not my hero.
He killed you, Third Engineer,
along with Second and First
without so much as a one liner,
the ones he saves
for the named. You had
a name. Tenure track
at the Lair of Doom,
crushing on Dead
to leave for the day.
Not even your death scream
was your own: it belonged to Man Bit
By Alligator, again. Third Engineer,
I would have lit candles
for you at the memorial service
because I've lit them before,
every time my people are killed
by a hero bursting through the door
and just hosing away.
He was glorious and terrible,
wasn't he, lit from below like the God
of School Lockdowns, God
of Hey What's That Noise God
of Ma'am I’ve Got
Some News About Your
Son god He
looks damn good, don’t he?
So beautiful I could cheer.