Black Cloth of Sky (seen through a Pabst Blue Ribbon bottle)

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

father dreams drunk    dreams lucent hours of lying on his back
dreams of hollow logs of decades to crawl inside    & he speaks

with a clot of a tongue    & he converses with his own thoughts
& he argues with every chimney smoke of memory    then sometimes

he leans in the doorway of the boys’ bedroom    or he leans
in the doorway of his daughter’s room      & he thinks

here is the slow mire    here is the incorporeal past     & once he drove
as a young man down from ohio to mississippi     & he gazed

at the flatness of the gulf     & he thought if i walked out
on the plains of these waters i would sink    if i dipped my head

beneath the waves i would swallow salt     & once in his 20s he stabbed
a man who punched him      & the man became another inescapable map

some geography of fury      & father dreams anger       dreams a red wraith
of sky      dreams blood horizons   & he skips years likes stones

across each imaginary ocean      & he lies beside his wife at night
& listens to the ships of her breaths      & those ships say

this is my leakage & these are my sails      & those ships say we carry the years
like a withering      then father drinks on the back porch     drinks

in his pickup      drinks at the kitchen table    drinks beneath the stars
& the stars say this we know . . . the visible & the invisible are at war

Wednesday, July 15, 2020