Tagged: the Memory

Flat Earth

I remember in church
a woman was having trouble
praying to God

sexually abused
by her father and now her husband
she couldn’t take another man

Make God a woman, the pastor
told her. Granted, this
was a Methodist church

Mom liked it for the choir
Dad always felt
he could ignore what he didn’t like

the matter of interpretation
heavy. some things did happen. we
did slay our memories

we did find a dead spot
in the woods
i knew of it

in the way one knows our planet
through pictures
through the elements of trust

wind, fire, through blood
like a meteor disintegrated
how can I ever

get far enough away
to see
what is really the world

to see it touched
by the hands
we are told mean time

and know the forest
for the stars
how on Earth

will I recognize
my mother, her face
like there had been people

Apnea

the trees, their leaves dipped like eggs
into cups of dye, the one flaming oak
on Flaming Oak Cove that has not changed
noticeably, but tonight appears more
red than yellow, an act of collective
memory I contain only part of. I contain only
part of what it takes. I take things out of
the forest and lay them flat onto paper, like
these trees, too much on purpose. I
build my web between birds and train
them to fly in unison above tall grasses,
ponds, collecting bugs. but only in poems
only on weak bones perched in your mind
someone saves me each morning. is that you?
or do I save myself? have I somehow timed
the jump back on correctly, all these times
in a row now… how have I not stayed too long?
this is where I have lived for most of my life

Its Parallel Existence

Formerly of love appears
on grainy 90s television
She takes down my shorts by the pool
Her mouth is full of ice, if I remember, or
I tried to run

I remember my first kiss. I wiped it away
I remember I peed on a girl’s foot in line
to the diving board. If I saw her today, I’d maintain

it was dripping water, formerly
of ice, that it was unseasonably cold that day
not too cold

               Snow untwisted from the curtain
Duck, dinosaur, contagion fused together
We had to get out of the pool
There is no end, it seems, to these
lines that never touch

The Earth & its Atmosphere

there must be a hole
for needing to be better
& hating yourself
through which
it leaves

we park somewhere
a trap
of green gasses
idling, a sun roof

the large holes
carried
in front of our bodies
the stolen art

the certain parts
of air that stick
before
being sent back

the false ones
the hopeful ones
the oxygen
the nitrogen

the courageous others
tagging along
swept up in it

we give each other
something good a little less
each time
here in the same place

but it’s still
some good

we finger the holes
in our hoodies
& in the atmosphere

we crack a window

we finger our mouths
through which words
emerge from
primordial
soupy throats

but where
before that? i struggle
sometimes

“perspective” or
who was there
when it happened

a police officer?
a father?
a friend
who learns the world
by looking at you
looking at them

Insomnia

the eldest pursues an ice cream truck
on his bicycle. he goes much farther
than he is supposed to. when he gets
back he has to funnel the ice cream
into cups. they drink it like water. the
eldest drinks real water, such is the length
of the neighborhood, the surrounding town
at night the eldest is last to sleep. there
is something about being the last awake that
appeals to him, like being alive is a trick
that’s easier to do when people aren’t looking
look at the surrounding town, the approximate
length of the known world. a dog barks
through it. it responds to its own sound. the
eldest dreams of being understood, or swiftly
diagnosed, but there’s no one awake who
can do that now. there’s no point worrying
it’s like that everywhere he could go

The Land of Places to Stop for a Moment

still misplacing the allotted granules
an expected &

unopened door

i remember things i’ve thrown
in a way
that places them
back together

giantess, dinner plates, souls
i have looked
for deposits
inside of

under the guise
of not giving up

there is nothing inside us

we are whatever ledge
on which
we place
our time

Smear the Queer

it came like a lot of things did
because Some Kid said it

Some Kid spoke
the world into existence

and I worry there are things
I have forgotten to stop doing

Some Kid taught me so much
lessons that stick

to the outsides of my brain
leaf litter on a sticky larva

I listened because Some Kid is older
or taller, or he called me Little Man

in one case, Some Kid had spray-paint
and wrote on the retention pond wall

Jay is a faggot. so Jay was a faggot
and I didn’t go over there

it was Some Kid who taught us
Smear the Queer

I remember asking a friend to play
who was staying over

he said the teachers at school
had made them choose a different name

something
more appropriate

they called it Kill. he said
we could play Kill if I wanted to