Friday, March 13, 2015

On a roll

When he tells me 
about the tumors, he cries 
and hangs up the phone 
and I call back immediately 
and lie in his ear 
and with my encouragement 
he lies back in my ear. 
We do this every day, a frantic duet, 
the lies flying back and forth
like homing pigeons 
and growing bigger and faster. 
It does not matter to us 
if they are plausible. 
We are on a roll. 
We cannot stop and welcome 
most especially any lies 
that invoke miracles, 
also lies about volition 
and automatic forces, 
lies that keep us blind 
and all the terror down, 
that take us out of this world 
of angst, lies that make us go 
limp from head to heart, 
that help us bend far away 
from what is beaming down on us. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Slump

Even in the early pictures, my brother 
sitting in the stroller, 
just a chubby bowl of cream, 
you can tell our father isn't satisfied. 
Already there's an inward drooping 
in the baby’s eyes 
that mirrors the slump in our father’s face 
looking past the child toward something 
deep and awful that left its marks on him.  
There's nothing displeasing about this baby 
boy but his father’s disesteem ages 
that child, takes over his life.....
poor health hunts him down
like a demon in the woods and then
devours him. 
But my brother cleaves to my love, 
at times thin as an exclamation mark 
but not loving him is just too hard 
for me to swallow.