i have nightmares in the honeysuckle hour between
sunrise and when you wakebruises from sleeping
with my legs crossed tightly and my arms under my
armpits i have been here before
when the coils under me freeze and the bed is hard
i crack the way ice cracks when it’s
dropped in sweet tea
my fingers dig past your breast and i scratch inside
your ribs the weeps of women misheld by shaky hands
are not unfamiliar to me and yours is no different in tone
but the inertia that carries your sobs and soft beggings pins me
to the headboard and you feed me chocolate and blueberries
until my mouth bleeds
hooks of dead trees push against
a gray sky like burrs on a bare foot
this morning i watched a leaf die i watched the supple life drain from
its stem and saw rust inhaled from its imperfect edges
i die the same way from the outside in
My father stands in clarion water.
cast his hand crafted
fly fishing rod into a stream in Oquossoc.
arm, like the drink he stands in,
moves in consistent patterns;
he can be predicted and expected,
and like the clouds he stands under,
quiet and looming.
Endless sheets of rain and thunder
in his chest.
When he looks at my Mother,
his wife, with an uncompromising,
stare, the room is hushed,
if only for these few
Shakes my hand
as though he were applying for
a job I was hiring for.
He sits and waits in the car while I
finish saying goodbye
to a girlfriend I’ve had for no more than a month.
Helped me buy a $70 dollar ring for her.
And when ring after ring had come
and gone, he remains
in his big, ivory truck.