A Sour Place
for them who gave us this
On this dawn, nearly breathing
Out the hissing vacuum of the winter sky sucked of its last candela
Just bare enough for shame to shroud its liver, as folded lilies,
When the caustic wounds of a night unbroken begin to gel,
You hear the wet bleating of your June in its retreat.
There, across the broiling fronds of palm splayed,
along the tarmac, across the linoleum wet with farewells and beer,
Enough of her is waiting, bare and just enough, for the sour place to pass,
just as you did once and again
this is the thing you leave on her lap, as father.
In this place, with guilty fingers, tremulously dreaming
The past wrapped around a wine glass, ringing scales,
of rising heat and cruel words bent down her throat,
where you crouch on Sundays to invite forgiveness,
you will string your lullabies, dull and disbelieving.
There, she is shrouded in cold fear as a bleating lamb,
spread across the small space she carries about her,
bathed in stale smoke, curdling as worms, in inches,
underneath there is someone you brought to birth
And buried by the day.
In this way, as a crumbling brick to splintered wood
a cask widowed of what it carries,
you have paved the hollows of your home with swollen fruits
like the ones that she held to her mother’s mouth moribund
To bring her back to rust
as the rest of us to time, awake.