Dear father I must confess       I have become
tired.    When plaster crashes an I-beam
slashing antic cross the kitchen, flutes
crushed clinking with crap,     oh father
I miss you.       I am dodging
what’s owed and we wonder if debtors
sit prison still, celled. One sick organism
with flagellate flickering.     Was it wrong
to want   a calling    a ceiling   that doesn’t cave
or pay? The begonia growing upside-
down was getting near to fire-bloom
when    boom    she was beheaded.
Tyranny cuts off     its shorts, goes sans culottes,
and we don’t see    til we drip
     with hailstones in the doorframe.

     We toggle shifts    slip fingers on wrists
to sense a pulse, but blood pounds in my foot
where skin stripped off from too much
    white.    Apparently I swayed.   Apparently
I stayed there with my middle
finger blazing in a v-neck,   grating hate
at his mouth on another    & swamps & dragon-
face & Scots idiot pissing.     Though father
you would have laughed at the knees
I capped and the grins I coaxed like bobcats
from their branches.     Never mind the keys
    creeping     too close to my nose, the matches
cracking poprocks      in my cortex. Never mind I woke
up in & out     chagrined and wringing happy
     paired and spinning shit to the cedars.    Father
what hides up in these rafters?


Is there something to burn at stake or is this
the hysteria of escaped and glowing stag, the never ever-
after?     I heard your graying saying I got waxed
again –      all I knew was spittle venom
for scissors biting your gold thread, rage
that stretches past skylight to ozone
punching blackest holes so vacuum
     cold howls in.        Father why
when we are    good   and   just   – the righteous
do not move a mountain the righteous get
fucked – and fidelity grows us nothing
and our seed is scorched to dust     in the bowl,
rancid furrow, I feel the seams may split
the side oh father my father, they lied.

I went to the backyard for balcony stars    to touch
an archer, maybe bathe before sweet
watcher       but inside skeletons roved    my clothes
were jackal-eaten, mangy skulls preying
     on praying for something their own
size    wizened and whittled.     Bankrupted by betrayal
and pursuant axillary boils, we stiffen
behind the driver’s seat with map and mindless
clipboard,     glyphs & vital signs:    what degrees
and breathing rate, an aneroid cuff on par with heart
charts the pressure and      nurses know better,
you can’t overdose on relaxants, so grind – wind
tighter that machine oh higher string
those lights to blinker and see the Christmas
tree freak flash oh father I am

a hurricane.      I’m biding til they try to gauge
the speed, come by with litmus strips
the soil eroding levees broken and oil gurgling up
the drain and hair stuck to the ocean.     Birds
sit floating tarred.       Unfetter, father,
    hot water does not help hands
        as you think, arsenic sits in your sink
and it hisses.      Oh father I fry I foam
without sleep I’m a streak     on the avenue where is our
fare for the ferry to Jordan?     Our faces are hot
and the trees are hail-bare      our songs are stripped
raw and the bedskirt it rots      she’s dead
     and you’re not and I pierce
like a mandrake a writhing    child-root.

There’s mold in the noodles and soot
on tomatoes     they tapped pretty powder
into her cup too, they blacked her refracting
    my grace friend    the jewel,    they took
         what was hers   the swamplight    the glow
in vocal chords cattails and grows     as the humming
of strings       oh my father,      they stole.
These mausoleums flood and foul these bayou tombs
    are shallow silting    coffin lilting
boneboxes start to rise up before long. Do you see
by the obelisks, angels, upstream?      These shadows
        offend, Papa.     This is no dream.