Poetry from Mauvais Genre



Father, where are you going?
What’s that blade you’ve polished
down to a thin crescent,
the waning moon?
The bears have all gone home.
The caves have shut their eyes.
Your hands were meant
to father more than shadows.
That lump in your throat
wants a second birth.


Morning makes a room
for us, a small bed.
Little Stone, the voice calls.
Little Stone, wake up, it says.
Outside the flowers look
like badly closed wounds.
At night they open
their small white faces to the sky.


Like yapping dogs our shoes complain.
Take them off, the wind says.
Unbuckle your feet, your legs.
Slide into summer’s deep water,
stare into its bright face, its wavy lens.
On the shore mourners
eat crème brulée and laugh.
Nothing’s sacred here,
not even these pale bodies of the dead
that gather like foam along the river’s edge.
Leave before you get pruney.
Enjoy the party, says the wind.


Father, something’s stirring
beneath that leaf:  the old black
beetle you’ve kept these years
locked in your chest.
Escaped at last with three small secrets:
this the milk, this the bread,
this the bittersweet on which we fed.
How quickly the wind nibbled your ashes
from my hand—a sort of kindness.
I tuck your breath inside me, Father,
and carry three stones.
The fourth is the place
I lay my head.

Published in: on April 8, 2008 at 9:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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