(for my Father, 2005)
It is the season of thud and mud,
a season of storms that wash away
It’s good for me to be busy but everything is So. Much. Work.
Gravity has increased, the brakes are locked up.
The wheels are dragging.
I carry my heart like a boulder, sour, and angry.
My tears always nearby, undisciplined as a fart.
I am trying to be strong and positive for my son.
What do you tell a three-year-old about death,
when it’s not a goldfish or flattened bird?
How do you contain the stink of misery while living honestly in front of him?
How do you explain feeling so flat and sad?
My brother says:
“He’s in a better place than any of us.”
And I want to say
“How do you know? What place are you talking about?”
But I don’t say it.
I wake in the middle of the night, wind-whipped,
to find a wall missing from my house.
I stare at it, clutching my robe and squinting red eyes
but in the gap, I see no trees or grass
just the absence of anything at all,
it isn’t gray or foggy,
it is a hole, a negative. It is nothing described as something
to explain the actual missing something it replaced.
It is without qualities.
all I know is that
everything which isn’t
and can’t be
goes there to not be
It isn’t the half-lit, half-life of the ancients;
or sanctimonious Hell,
or sentimental Heaven.
It’s a lecture from a toothache.
It’s a dismal window, explained to me by my pain.
I stayed there before I was born
when I was busy not yet existing.
It’s where I will return when
I become busy existing no more.