5.08 / August 2010

Was She Quite Thin When She Died?

She, reticent, lithe,
her fingers bent around the curve of her throat,
tooth to knuckle,
reaching for the rot inside.
She, in a high-waisted raincoat,
painting with the rot inside or
hiding it in plastic bags in her basement,
the trunk of her car.
She, quelled in her coffin, emptied,
fingers uncurled.
She, constructed. The Y-incision shut.
Lips, sewn.
Her tongue bent to fit her mouth.

Round Lake

The night I fucked him he pined
for good weather and his baby
on a boat. She slipped
from his fingers, you know.
The boat went quick left,
baby flew right and over,
sank, never-found.

I slept with him anyway,
folded and angled across
a blank bed. He flushed,
finished and took out the trash.
I heard him clamor in the yard.
There are still anchors in him.
There are babies stuck in the sand.


Count the number of bruises:
sweet blue bruises, over-ripe
thumbprints and ashen
smudges speckling your legs.

At twelve my father’s mother
quit school. At twelve my
father quit sonhood, made
his own money, built a bedroom
in the basement.

These stains scar, they
match: half-moon crescents
pressed in the thighs, passed
and shared like thick hair,
blue eyes, a heart

palpitation. At ninety
my father’s mother complains
he doesn’t call. At twenty
my father taught her to ride
a bike. It’s hard to say
if she fell.

5.08 / August 2010