Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Summer.

"You're gaining a few tires."
Laughter. "Why?"

I thought that's what you wanted.
What does that mean.

"Coffee, coffee, coffee,"
Legs kicking, four years old, and drinking coffee
In my yard with my grandfather, an ex-miner that left
Me a silver dollar, and other things of little worth.

In this town, there are yards, lined squares,
Little fences that keep in my sad looking mutt.
I have a tree house. A tree house in my yard, with
A swing and a rope for climbing. Good for identifying birds:
Red robins, purplish crows, and a vulture -- a vulture! --
Circling vultures all around.

The gold chapel in
The center of town is visible if you swing high.
Higher! Higher! I catch the chapel's glimmer
When I am doing stunts, jumping
From towers to land with bloody, bloody, lips
Tongues, scratches, bruises, that sting like hope.

Long before any real slips and scratches.

I am running through my yard:
Cold? But it's summer?
Snow. Snow.

"Let's pretend it's snowing."

I hear yelling in the afternoon.
Is it Softball? Baseball? Football? Kickball? Yards
Of recess and stretching?

No, he now... does not move.
Walking into a mom: Good news. Bad news.

Good news: He will take me swimming. It is too cold.
Bad news: He is dead, on the porch, he is dead.

Whizzing, whizzing sirens,
Shrieking sirens, whizzing. Like our bikes, bikes, bikes
Riding up and down roads, cops and robbers running up steps.
Steps in the right direction to the dead man!

"Dead man on the ground!"

My naked neighbors hover out windows
Like surgeons dressed as cadavers,
Like helicopters searching for

Movement against the darkness approaching.
At night the dissipating sunshine is gloved by streetlights
And glow-in-the-dark pucks of midnight hockey games.

We are hurried inside, separated from dieing.
Waiting all night, watching television, videogames,
Eating -- cereal with two scoops of vanilla ice-cream on top
And a Cherry 7UP. Cartoons, swinging
Round and round, reclining in chairs,
Talking, laughing, making noise.

The door upstairs slams with the weight
Of my parents grieving bodies.

The sound: A crash. An epitaph.
Never have I forgotten.

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