Easter Sunday my mother goes my girl wakes up
sweating, sacraria diataxia. She sleeps like a lost planet
swooning many times around the earth.
Although I cannot say to her what is happening she
cries out and I hear it. It is still strange to me that even
women are parts too fretting spinal and letting go. She is
paralyzed in her shock in her sleep where she goes I cannot
follow though I try many times in the hours before she
rises. I hear someone creeping through the door with three
flowers, two oblique black disks. The bed my mother gives
me when my down hair first begins to grow is not long
enough for my own two feet but my girl fits in it incoming,
incoming. The room around us has big windows. I hold her
head to them forever and yet she cannot see. She sleeps
with her legs sutured like she is running. I spend most of
her time looking at my hands as they become sedimentary
and shane. In her sleep she sinks and unwalls and sheds
light upon forever.
The moment that she wakes is like a tape stuck in its
box a thrill and a sorrow no matter how many times I see it.
Some days she wakes up screaming in her own house. She
stretches her arms out whimpering for help a meridian
halting over the ocean.
The first time I meet him I know who he is. Wifeship
urging on. His cheeks are like you can see through them to
his throat and adenoids.
He introduces, hand-canter. The feel and smell of him,
the anchor, the work. I remember my sister when she put
on a river dress and hairspray and I remember too how she
did not cry but did not come back the same either. This
man is not like that. He has a thoroughness to him. A man
with a sheepshead barely at manhood all the same. He is
afraid he is a slow one if he thinks I cannot smell it. Slower
still. Moving slowly through the place that's mine like a
racket press leaving lines on my sister like sheet imprints
scales. A ringing glass state is new to him, a new language
foaming like dishes in the sink on saint holidays. This
place, our places. My sister a crescendo and a Libra failing
to grasp the very easy things that I am telling her, which is
that a famous thief is bad at his job. I give him a name I can
bear and I bear it along alone.
When he comes in the winter I pretend not to have a lot
of interest in my sister's things. I scheme through them
finding only tubes carrying things I can't fathom to places I
can't see. In every moment I concede her making open war
against the union.
A Christian or a shoplifter Rolf climbs to the top of a
maymeeting tree, suns that set and stars that fumeless rise.
The roof of our house. A heaviness.
The scene in my mind is retractive and beautiful. The
two of them in a tree and me out the window and her
coming out behind me like twins exiting the wound. A
flagrant show of barking affection. The whole thing
appears to grow until there are no spheres but the one we sit
in. I put my arm around my girl's waist and lift up her shirt
to feel her fiddle-back and the swell above her big man's
belt an orbit. Little fine hair, edenbridge between the place
with the red divots and the other parts. Feeling that he is
watching through iron bars and that I am hiding with my
sisters, or just one. A gasp that ripples through me. In youth
my sister looks like me, taft and saltwater, hair shorter,
moving like I do until the day she stops doing it. I see them
over and over in the way that her body has become a place
for him and his loci.
When it begins to get cold and the women begin to
shiver they go inside. I make a brief hesitation at the
window although my skin is fumbling too. It appears that
he does not know how far the tree is from the house. Not
Petra's tree. A larger one.
A sickness comes across the country. It touches the
hereaways. It is rain at night and the brightness of a day in
the telling month or season.
A wicked childhood, anemometrographic rivets and
rocks. Screambling through the rivulets that connect the
suburbs together. In those days I had a young lookalike to
clubrush the river and save me but now is unlike. When she
comes it is only for the tea and krakens and the bigness of
her room upstairs. A sack of lies is being told at every
second that she speaks to me and indubitably unbearably
it's his fault. A wicked Job it is. A cap jib. An amber
signaling knowledge. A coathanger clipped on every side,
saying something about me that I don't understand like
when adults pick me up in that place where my ribs hurt. A
fingerprint in my side. An overtrick. A time that should be
quiet but won't settle. My mother hitting me in the back of
the head with a waterpot. No matter what is done, I won't
But somewhere in my youth or childhood, a sonograph,
an expression crawling. Knowing he will blow the whistle.
Knowing he will fire the gun. Knowing where he will chase
me for my father and for how long. Knowing the cranelike
motions of his arms.
I watch the movie again as if I need telling. It is what I
am doing when we go to the market. Little known to her I
have not stopped watching.
When I walk it's like I'm wearing curtains, great green
ones. Traipsing through the aisles with my big walk. All
new limbs seeming even newer. Facing the second half of
the movie again with a new subjecthood. Making
movements past the live lobsters stalling in the tanks past
produce. Rotisserie chicken everything. My mother gets
this carvyl look on her face, exchanges some things with
Petra. It's not very interesting although she expects to
overwhelm and storm over me, which I can tell because she
moves to protect me in every aisle at every pasta and jar we
pass. Grace and the vehemence. When they speak I sort of
lose everything. My sister has a bit of an allergy so it
becomes my allegory to search for the almonds and milk
products like a beagle following the scent of prey over a
thousand yards of hills.
Petra wears a loose black shirt and is too happy for
something that doesn't happen yet. It cannot. I can see her
madness but I know I am the only one. Through peepholes
of my mother's arms I watch, sitting in the cart, three years
and just now speaking.
Once Petra is done with, as though that occurs in the
osamu streets and linoleum, my mother aligns with the fish
and strikes back for it.
Blossoming in the ice is the precut concrete airproof
eyes, scales. Fumbling out through the animals. A farm I've
never been to, smaller and whiter. A father singing with his
daughter swinging on the fence and a big guitar. An
opening scene I don't see because our tape cuts off
beforehand. My mother gives me seven dollars for nothing,
but only in quarters and fifty cent coins with Helen Kellers
engraved in them, raised up. She speaks with the
convertites, seeking a direction. My angel paleogeography,
spinning over the walls and through the mountains of eggs
and cans of tomato paste strained out with the solid
substance at the bottom and the juice basking above like a
lizard on a rock. Singing softly over the stove. My girl
finds a whole fetus when she cooks an egg the first week
I'm inside her.
What it must be like to live not long in water. A cooler
in the backseat I've never seen before. I want to look at it
but there's nothing to see inside the school bus we're
riding, a pale thing lighting on fire beneath the golf course
my sixth year alive.