Monthly Archives: December 2015


You are not your father and I am not my father.
You will not be an alcoholic and I will refuse to get cancer.

I know the shape each mistake must
take before I make it, and also I know
the larger shape I’ll foist upon it. Left
justified with thick cotton margins
for the cushioning of the blow. I wish
it could look more elegant and less
intended, like the Kufic script of geese
flying into a heavy wind. But being who
I am, I’ve fenced off a square parcel of
land where I’ll fret every day while the
only tree on the skyline grows brittle
and loses her leaves. Each time you
see I might rob something good in the
telling of it, will you give me a gentle nudge
or lend my wreckage a wide berth? I
am missing something. That something
is a miss. Tonight, looking  forward to the
joyful noise of children playing brass
instruments poorly, is not the right time
to walk grounds we’ve already covered
but we’re renting houses once occupied
by others and their fingerprints are
everywhere. They’ve broken out the
basement windows, made a mess of all
the wiring and every door jamb swells
shut when it rains. What I wanted to say
was something as breathtaking in its
forward motion as the train rolling
by on its tracks. Something as certain
and useful as its metal grind. But I was
not on it and it moved away, peopled
with its own mysterious vocabulary.