He just had a bad heart,
I was told, while still
young enough to think of one
as that shape
he would draw
on my birthday cards, with his chickenscratch
handwriting beneath: I love you
a bushel and a peck, and a hug
around the neck.
I could sense something unsaid was being said,
or maybe the other way around,
and as a student of the intricate southern shame-language,
I knew when not to ask things like,
What was so bad about it? Instead,
I wondered for years,
until things seemed to make sense.
Orphan or interstellar nomad, you endure every label
as a singular voyager would. You venture near, sometimes
too close, and gravity burns, yes. Friction and inevitable
consequences for getting just close enough to feel
something. Anything but the cold embrace known
before, anything but the maddening silence. Even noise
comes as relief, when the cosmic winds howl hot
and strange against your outer layers, never penetrating
deep enough to harm the verdant inner surface, never quite
reaching. Your mountains rise, high as any other,
volcanic in origin, as usual. The clouds they have created
shield you well, but shields are double-sided. Yours
shadow the land
longer than necessary.
My Gay Agenda: 5/2/15
Squished a spider in the tub. Cleaned up a hairball
one of the cats left on my office floor. Made
a pot of coffee. Played
an episode of Bones off of iTunes, then made more
but added creamer this time. My husband woke up
to tell me he had this amazing dream,
and it was, actually, but as he described it
he forgot it, as it goes with amazing dreams,
but still. It was pretty nice, his enthusiasm.
Would he have told his ex?
Put Neosporin on my spider bite. Obviously
not a dangerous kind, since all it did
was make a tiny bump and itch, and itch,
and itch like a motherfucker. Still,
damn. It can stop itching anytime now.
Dad came over in the afternoon,
asked if we boys needed anything
like coffee or cokes. Nope. He brought cigarettes,
since they’re cheaper in Kentucky. When I hugged him
goodbye, he felt thinner than last time.