Waiting for the Shrink

I can name four rivers, the president, I know what day it is,
but don’t ask me if art can save anyone.

And don’t ask me about my father.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I am an unknown quantity,
anything I say may be against me.

Snowflakes like people never think anything’s their fault.

Where my father is
everyone has stone eyes, penny eyes, bone hollows
where water pools. The only sound is rain seeping
like a dog endlessly licking himself.

My education
was a corset with bone stays and strings yanked tight,
something only worn now in brothels, to tease.

I am here because last night my mind split between euphoria
and grief. Someone was dying, someone was embracing,
and I couldn’t make the stove turn on. I held a match
and had too many ideas for how to use it.

I told you, my father lives in a country where nobody talks.
In dreams, just as I am about to enter, I wake up, frantic
to unstick my mouth and say No.

I am here because every moment’s a casket I am trying to flee
before the lid drops.

Don’t ask me about my father —
if he sang to me, if I ever dissolved on his chest like a pill
on a tongue, if his brows were as black as I remember,
his grin as horsey.

Oh horsey, did I ever ride your back? Did you laugh?

Printed from Cerise Press: http://www.cerisepress.com

Permalink URL: http://www.cerisepress.com/02/04/waiting-for-the-shrink