10 Ways to Destroy the Earth

my mother died in this room
now it is occupied by my nieces
whenever they sleep over
a playroom

i currently occupy it
sleeping on the lower bunk of their little ikea bunk bed
under a disney princess sleeping bag
my eyes fixed on the bunk above
where I keep my guitar
some clothes
some makeup
soap
a sweater
maybe this is where my slow implosion began
maybe this is where it will end
i wonder how?

my mother died in this room
still believing that i was an eldest son
strong and independent
today i am not one of these
today i am her youngest daughter
born posthumously
thereby weak and howling
afraid

in the other room my father watches a show called
“10 Ways to Destroy the Earth”
one of those ways is to be trapped between two black holes
endlessly consumed
attenuated into nothing

Anderson
November, 2015

my metaphor of change

metaphors of change
are usually caterpillars,  butterflies
soft focus scenes of sunrise over a boundless ocean
winter warming into a floral spring
a music box unwinding

but in my experience it has been
a sharp knife
wielded by a stranger
performing an emergency surgical procedure
from the back of a van
on an unknown highway
in an unknown country

Versailles
January 2015

the detached

they came hungry
whining at the door
just above the pitch of the wind
in the spring and in the fall
in the evening
you could almost pretend you didn’t hear them at all

they came during the change in days
dragging bellies
stubborn or tired
with them, there is usually no way to tell which

they came with palms upturned
eyes rolled back into their skull
shivering and shy
because the porch light was on
and the scent of our daily routine
revealed us to them

i let them in
and fed them my bread
when it was convenient
i loved them
but they passed away like a snowfall
leaving me with the foggy, opalescent grief
of the detached

Moores Hill
March, 2014

to own and to be owned

this place will come to own you
it will do so with
a mailbox
a debt
a picnic
a violent act
a bonfire
a hard winter
a gentle spring

you will exist here as a stranger until the year
kevin nods
at the hardware store
kenneth scrapes
the ice from your driveway
william drags
her remains out of traffic

you call the postman
james
at the bank
sarah
calls you by name
not the new name you’ve taken
but the old name your mother called you by
the name on your driver’s license

sharon planted
the black-eyed susans that bloom again and again
christopher planted
the vegetables anew this year
each year he sinks further
into the clay
his metal fasteners rusting
his component parts
spread
across the landscape
by the wind
and the animals

Moores Hill
March, 2014

a small house

the house is small
up on the crest of a long, low ridge
overlooking the county road
once it stood
for time travel
now it represents
simply my desire to be forgotten

the house is small
everything inside is crooked
patched poorly by each previous occupant
cracks in the foundation
the porch leans
the windows leak

the house is small
but the grounds are expansive
there is a roll to the land
every year birds build
their houses in the eaves
for their children

we will have no children in ours
by choice
as if anything ever was a choice

Moores Hill
June, 2014

there was a great burning

we tore down the old tobacco barn
made piles of the old siding and those massive posts
used some of it to build the new carport
the rest rotted
the bottommost layers turning into dirt
food for termites

we’d always intended to do something with the wood
but the pile became a burden to us
a home to vermin
choked with weeds
shelter for wasps, ticks and worse

this weekend there was a great burning
of all those old intentions
the rotted siding and the great posts
stained with mold
went into the fire

Moores Hill
June, 2014

snows recede

snows recede
leaving behind hidden garbage
equipment broken by winter
projects left undone when the cold came on
litter unlocking itself from the ice
the first real flowers of spring

old men with plastic bags
stalk the ditches of the county roads
they are picking up the thrown beer cans
and soggy mcdonald’s bags

on the edges of anonymous fields it remains
until the bramble covers it again
to await the next snowfall

Moores Hill
March, 2014

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