And while we two were left for the cleaning
Lady through a sweet chocolate parting gift
Of croutons over red wine. A job well
Done. And candied marmalade orange rind.
Willie Nelson had run off with a whipped
And runny cocoa-anything. Although
Mushrooms followed ribs and the magically
Unopened case of Bud light folded meat,
He could take the cream explosions while
Having to hear the tone deaf bursts of song.
The bursts of song that made him think that his
Womanly long hair gave him Sampson like
Strength in the musical arts. Without art.
Without strength. Without a musical ear.
Nature is a woman standing outside
An open window blowing the breeze through.
Do you think her life does not extended through
The screen? Do you think she is just broken
Off to begin again on the next line
Sterilized by your four walls? But you know
She will come through and when she does, will she
Come upon her cart with rake to gather
The dead like so many leaves of fall to
Leave the few to escape the tines or with
A broom to sweep them all like dust gathered
On the floor of an empty tomb. You know
Life brings plague on the wind and none escape
Life alive. But you want to be the first.
The girls came back to the rundown hotel
Room with an apple and a banana
And an eighteen pack of cold Bud Light on
A night that was already soaked in booze.
They said, when you are travelling apples
Are like freshly juiced oranges, floral
Against the sweet acidic reflux of
Prepackaged junk food. That is why they keep
Them in plain sight of the attendant. They
Know someone will steal them. He thought about
Their words as he sat at the foot of the
Bed and ate that banana. And when they
Had changed into their swimsuits, he watched the
Ducks parade to the pool for tonight’s swim.
The sleepless night ached inside of you like
A methane pool waiting sharp and shiny
On the forehead. Your brow wrinkled and wrapped
Wringing through thoughts like sweat soaked hand towels.
Absorbent eyebrows wet and sagging like
The frown dripping down and drawing dots on
The multiple choice test sheet. And yellow paint
Cracking against yellowed teeth chewing
The pencil. Teeth browned by the multiple pots
Of pure concentration poured straight through the
Funnel of your coffee cup cram session.
You and your friends finding new knowledge. The
Night before then becoming mere hours
Before the final was set to begin.
You flap for open water to give you
Enough speed for your low angled assent.
The fluorescing against the unexposed
Film. And the new chemical exposure
Of early childhood impaled below
You. And the hallucinations to save
Yourself and the end of the Indian
Summer. And poetry is the last thing
Going to sleep. You can blend abstracting
Imagery in an elegant poem. To
Mine out the abrasive and in-your-face.
And attempt similar tactics to hear
The dry bones clacking like old walking sticks.
The path that turned sharp into the darkness.
Thin wisps of black smoke lay low in the fields.
They disperse almost as quickly as they
Formed. Their haze in the tall grass that has gone
To seed. The smoke gathers thickest in the
Brown grasses that eventually die back
To black spots of earth bare like life in the
Old house with the odd shingles hanging loose
From long years of wind. She couldn’t help him
Or leave him now. But she can watch from her
Perch in the branches of the unkempt wood
Abutting the old property. She could
Float through the weeds and up out of the ground.
She could watch and choke him with her fumes. Cursed
To make him suffer for the love she holds.
In the red light of the basement dark room,
I have seen Death dancing. A dim specter
In the dark. A shadow skeleton that
Might not be there. Arms outstretched motioning
Me forward. He has shown me photographs
Floating in the chemical vats. Floating
An accident of exposure. Floating
An artifact of suffering. Of black
Limbs solidified in among the white
Trees of an early snow and short sleeves. Drifts
Piled upon the autumn leaves. Weakened.
Unprepared. My son and I chasing that last
Bit of beautiful weather with a small
Burned out fire and Death dancing us on.
Black and white headed goose sliding slowly
Across the pond is there mourning in your
Call? Why do you linger so long in the
Stagnant waters near the abandoned farm?
Where is your flock? Did they venture too close
To the marshy end where the old dock stands
Mostly sunken and half hidden in the
Muck and swamp grass? Did you fix your stare through
The gaps of the warped slats to the shadows
Under the dock at the dripping pile
Of bones? You were the one, weren’t you? The
One to hear the slosh and suck of his steps.
Did you see the fates in his dead black eyes,
Or just the dripping maw of old Raw Head?
Did you see the light outside the window?
Was there a man in the street wearing a
Black hood with an evil light behind his
Eyes, little one? Did you see him? He had
A flaming censor hanging from a pole
Hooked like Death’s scythe. Don’t look out the window.
He has already faded into night.
But if you must, do you see the neighbor’s
Roof? Do you see that small shape in the dark?
You can almost make out the eyes of the
Owl blank like two holes in a skull. El
Coco, Cucuy. The disembodied
Head. He is watching, my son. Licking his
Bony chops. Have you been good? Yes, I hope.
The bright lights of the stadium lit the
Field leaching everything into shades of
Grey stretching long shadows from the cars
In the gravel lot like the pulling out
And across of the utility knife
To serpentine over the guide line. The
Family walked the paved path along the
Thicket of brush toward the shadow of night.
What could they want out there in the darkness
Beyond the bushes in the mist over
The creek where the mosquitoes bite twice as
Thick and the shadows hold whispers? Is it
The woman in the woods and the house on
Stilts? And do they know her terrible price?