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