Let the Sound Come to You
There was a boy nearing graduation, With great acceleration, college on the horizon, First in his family to --he was pulled from one side Of the gravel, down into the ditch & never made curfew. Mom and dad cried and tried to find Meaning and with an open heart They gave the body of his car To the graduating class. The mangled frame sat on the back Of a flatbed’s slow tow around the town, In the homecoming parade, as boys and girls Hammered the broken body without the joy Or excitement of tires or glass Or an engine’s rush of gas. Candy was tossed to the children, The football game was lost or won, But the blind eyes of spraypainted metal still Lets the sound come to you. More Than a Carnivore Could Bear (as told by my grandma about her husband's childhood) He had a dog, part-wolf, Whose hunger was epic, As his family had little to eat. It had been weeks Since they had meat, More than a carnivore could bear. So they collected wages To calm their craving. Upon the block, his family watched The Butcher stuff hot dogs, And decided on one each. Mother carried the paper package In her coat, and unwrapped It in the kitchen. Imagine Part-Wolf’s suspicion At the scent of fresh meat. Mother took the plate away. Her trip to the hot plate Was smooth, so much that She slid and the meat flew Up and into the eye Of Part-Wolf’s teeth, Snap and swallow, before A scrum or tug-of-war. So went The meat drought, Along with the Depression, Until it didn’t matter What dog they ate. Climb the Heights We were just Impossible Obstacles Standing, watching either end Of the Valley Of a barren marriage. And in the Valley, walls so tall Only a whisper of dreams Could climb the heights To pass where escape lies As a basin, Lush with sap sweet Water, if only enough to skim, In this impossible proportion To the dry, flat clime Where time pulses like the night sweats Of a neon saint with a circus in tow Medics and Missing House Numbers The passage of choice is a memory mirrored, Not a hallway necessity like a locked firehose cabinet. I regret not having a pass but had to see The red lights on the ceiling that are still squealing. Smash glass? No, sir. It’s no funhouse really, Just an extinguisher taking advantage Of the frame’s weak woodgrain. I don’t know What you found, I can’t attest to that anymore Than the worm tracks on autopsied back fat. The distance between alone and together? The greater the better, bigger pills with more color. How can you swallow a photograph taken At the moment of decision? There’s no map To get back, even to itself– useless. Yes, there was a camera but don’t mind the process, Exposure and acid and… Relief in the form of a Note: There’s no need for numbers in real life. There, Did you hear that? The sirens have been lost for hours, Spaced out, in motion like an excellent illusion, even If it’s too good to be true, just know there’s no framework For feeling, true for daily dosage, one by one I’ve watched the house numbers fall as the ambulance Drones around in concentric circles and I can still see you. The Corpse Flower The Botanical Center is a replica of the terrestrial, Feeling lunar, artificial, a big bubble off the freeway. The attraction was the bloom of the Corpse Flower, A giant, imported and set far enough away To be bothered by only a live feed camera. We paid admission and waited days, Married all the while. Standing on a footbridge in a controlled Climate, I felt like an astronaut On a movie set. While away, we checked in on the live stream, Awaiting the hamburger-scented bloom. Can a camera capture other senses? We watched in case her jaws would fall open Like the maw of a busted melon. With uncertainty, time grew slow and meaning swelled. Attention to the plant became a sheen To preserve the moisture of memory, Like the head of a room-centered bust. And the live stream crept as though our watching Would beckon a gardener, to unmask this plant And reveal the great flower’s teeth. It wasn’t to be. Pictures were taken to preserve the day And populate dating profiles, there was great momentum For leaving, then there was the gift shop But I only wanted to put my face to the bloom, And Inhale the scent of our abortion’s birth.