And so my view—and I think it reflects
the view of the American people—
is that we, of course, want to legislate
the nipples of dew that linger on the tips
of grass, but since we’ve culled the rhetoric
of longing from our tongue, we have seen fit
to let the Fed loan funds to gravity.
No longer can we depend on autumn
to drift in through the window as cinder
and what we need now is to rip parting
from the lexicon, to borrow against
the falsetto hymns the seraphim sing.
I want to be another Abraham,
glutted by stars and wayward with desire.
My two uncles talk the republican
ticket on those remembered front porches
where my dad smoked menthol cigarettes,
always a bit removed, grazing twilight
with his eyes and dreaming orchards, Edens
chased after, that slivered into comets.
The squirrels in my backyard squabble over
crabapples and the strength of a father
echoes the terrible might of the dying.
If only I could unseal covenants.
If only I could chrism concrete, summon
ghosts, conjure living rooms, conjugate time
with the body of a brown haired woman
whose areolas unloose history.
When my father read me the Aeneid,
I knew one day I would out walk the sacked
and burning place I came from, forever
carrying his weight until he became
the very trudge made toward not founding
a glorious city in an empire
of ash. Stooping: this is how a father
builds a son. Then a son staggers father,
stutters his father into multitudes.
Once, in a diner, he said he saw life
as a perpetual locking out. “Look
in the windows,” he said, “and break them, pane
after pane.” And so, in my view, we want,
of course, communion and the promise
of pacts fulfilled, but no nation, no god,
no treaty, can unbind what shuttles son
to live and live and shoulder this breaking.
Photo By: Susanne Nilsson