Father and Son

Dreamers Are Gluttons




Over  A Bowl Of Potato And Corn Soup, Mr. Marvin Tells Me How He Castrated Baby Goats


Love Poem #1

Leather Death Fruit and Flying -- A Consideration

The Mechanic Takes on Language

135th & Crossing

It Could've Been

Kermit's Jazz

The Muse



In Time

Bottomed Out Language

Such Fears

Spreading Out Histories

Days Unfold

There is a Flutter of Noise in My Head


The Mechanic Takes On Language


Here, it is springtime,

which is more a passing thought than a recognition

of the weather.  From the room’s threshold,

the mechanic watches his son

roll matchbox cars over the blanket’s soft hills.

His voice stalls in his throat

as he leans against the doorjamb,

hands stuffed into stained overalls, boots unlaced

and worn.  He wavers between his boy’s world

and his own; between a voice that Vrooms

and one that bumps its own gutteral syllables. 

He waits for the right moment to enter,

to invade the plug in deodorant

with his smell of grease and antifreeze. 

Years ago, he caught a man

with a wiry beard and soft eyes tucking a gallon

of Prestone under his tattered tweed coat.  The man didn’t run,

didn’t say a word, just handed it back, and walked away.

Later, the mechanic learned that the local drunks

strain the green juice through stale bread

for a taste of something he couldn’t fully understand.

That extent of want, that need worth dying for.

He walks in behind his son.  When two cars clash,

the boy throws them up into the air,

his arms wide arcs opening to the ceiling

as if wild in prayer.  He smiles for a second,

then places one fat hand on the boy’s head.

Son, he stutters, I have something to say. 

Downstairs, his wife prepares chicken. 

The raw breast smells of spices and beatings.  She sips

her seven and seven, watches the wind’s fists swing

at the camellias.  Smells like rain, she says,

surprised by her own voice.  Then she begins crying. 

She knows she’ll remember this moment

of wind and lemon pepper and red blooms

tumbling over one another outside while her husband

wrenches his words into position.  Even this,

he wanted to do alone, she thinks rinsing her fingers in the sink.

Originally published in Faultline


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