Viewing entries tagged
family

could fry an egg on the cement it’s so caliente

the little girl’s mind is disobedient. she likes to skip down the city cement, out of shouting range. she likes to read old books, playing deaf outside older windows. she likes to peek through fences, playing with backyard boys she isn’t meant to know. she likes to pretend she goes out, goes somewhere difficult. she likes to pretend she’s allowed to be anywhere but here. she begs for an above ground pool, but no one is ever allowed in it. she begs for some sunglasses to lie down in the driveway, but the cement is so hot and the yellow jackets so large, she’s sure a form of death will take her before reaching tan. the little girl is always so obedient. she watches television in the front porch praying for one day a safe escape. her mother tells her girls get kidnapped, raped by multitudes of boys. there are bad men at the streetlamps; the men her mom brings home are fine. the swings will soar you over used needles. the balls you kick will roll beneath deathtrap vans. the babysitters aren’t to be trusted. her great-grandfather is not to be trusted now either. if anything is loose, you could be poisoned. if anything is quiet, it could be a trap. if anything is exciting, it can’t be honest. if you head onto hot streets, your heels will flame up on your path to hell. there shall never be a summer dusk before you’re back.

a family story

there’s the time angela’s

body was seen as a ghost;

the living breathing toddler in one room,

quite another haunting

top of grandma’s stairs.

 

there’s the shillelagh,

having fallen in such a way

to defy

childish notions of physical understanding,

parroting for decades your uncle’s tricks

by remembering plastic pink flashlight to mandible nightcries,

and your aunt’s kitchen faucet

sink upstairs

refusing all repair.

 

visiting the great-aunt’s convent once,

more holy water to temple touches;

knees pink with navy synthetic embossing,

burgundy leather beneath ties to ritual creaking;

the prayers and the scent 

of processed body

of christ

the grape juice will transform if you pray for it strongly

and mean it more than you wished evil into playground pagan crossings.

 

the christmas tree stays up too long now that grandma’s dead

the plush carpeting under the ornate rug

hides the secret fake snow threads

you’ve pushed under

in gazing out south shore

hexagonal windows

blocked by hopes of more magic

in july

paisley upholstered chairs never felt more livable

than when you're returned

to mom's city apartment late sunday nights

 

the ashtray with the metal button on the marble

lazy susan, kitchen table, near large window, grandpa's here;

this seems like the most simple way to keep down complaints,

push it down to the bottom, emptied later in the trash bin

please let this be the ritual to keep everyone

soft and transparent alive.