Fantasy ModeI put the dye in your hair,swallow somestaining my mouth blackberrywhile you come out in flames.This is my stab at herI'll burn you with love,not matches.I will paint you,with flighty hands,into who you want to be.Into all those people you'veyet to live& will with me.I wear your poisonaround my neck& on each bone in my wristyou are in love with my ankles& I tell you about a crow I sawwith the wingspanof a crane.About the space betweenyour shoulder blades whereI can see your rage.You said,one day you'll grow wings& fly us out of herewith all the birds hanging aroundin the morning hours & on my body,I can fly us faster.
DoubtHer mother pushes hertowards the forsaken boywith his Irish mouth& pretty laboring hands.She climbs the stairs,dead & thick as wool,holding her decisionlike a blind woman's handblind leading blind.She did love him,years before the atomic bomb,when they were eggs in a wombwaiting for a father or Germanic wordto set them off.Her skin bristles like the pinesas she walks her roomthe paces of a horsein a slow race to deathpiecing together a lifefrom crocheted promises& burns in the carpet.He holds her like a birdthe last of her kind on earth& sailing into the windif he doesn't hold tight.A gilded cage isanother word for "entrapment"or waking in a fear frommistaken choices.He waits along the doorframeparallel to stability& her mother's hand on her back,gently pushing her closer to the edge,feels like a hot iron.
A DangerYou look at melike my eyesproject police lightsmy voice a gravelly sirenover the phone fromthat place in the mountainsI always called from,across from theprimary blue river.You see the testing ofatomic bombs in mysidelong glances& you fear it,remembering the yearsI spent crushed undera car's weight of instabilitymy legs curledinto themselves afterevery crash.Love was somethinguneven thenyou screaming& punching the walllike insanity's faceevery time I wasbored enough topick a fight.I bandaged youafter you kickedthe trashcan,yelled about rollercoasters& leaving me.I held your headin my hands & criedabout being bettertossing my other selfout the window& learning how to knityou children.Years later,you held my headafter the ride was over& whispered"always."& that was enough.
Lost NightsIn the headlightsyour hips are battleshipsthe ball & chainof our sleeping pillslodged in our throats.My fingers are rippedby your artillery &I wrap myself inblack cellophane,walk along the edgewith youtwo inches of concretekeeping us fromspraining our minds.The cars on the highwaypass in light trailsleaves combustingon sight.The canaries ofyour hands wavesinging, dying offin warning.You don't knowthe meaning ofself-preservationtwenty weeks ofholding your handsbetween your thighs& sobbingI know it well.Below us,the water stingsthe shorethe laughter inI love youholds us like a rope& the balance ofscience & poetrybecomes a safety net.
Family MattersA grandfather standson a hill in Irelandwearing a facefrom the 1940'sthe only onehis granddaughterwill ever knowtiny malignancieseating into the wrinklesof his mind.Decades earlier,a woman stoodin the kitchenstaring down at herstained hands.The lye left pockmarkson her insides likeher sister & the manthey battled foralready had, invisibly.On the other side,a man sitsin a restaurantthinking of expensive cars& the dilapidating effectsof bringing a childinto a house overwhelmedby umlauts & kitschy furniture.Inside an afternoonof the 60's,a woman lies on herabsent consciencein a hospital& plans amnesialies she can formulateto save her facefrom the meat grinderof the truth.10 years earlierher husband drinks himselfto the edge of oblivion& belts his childrenin a display ofemasculated dominance.The 90'sthe faces of everybattered womansink to the floorin the shardsof a broken plate.A little girl watchesold black &