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I should have never left the Great Lakes / I hate this place photo

let us use the Fibonacci sequence to understand
why 10 coffins became boats atop the surface of Alum Creek on Christmas Eve

and why Mamaw spent all of 2015 saying bell-bottoms were coming back
and then the next summer she was dead

or why the endo said my fertility wouldn’t come back
when it wasn’t ever there in the first place

my test tube son says he misses Ohio even though he’s never been
says the small of his arms can cut up moons

yet it’s his pale that’s my pale and his sunken chest my sunken chest
he dresses up as a brook trout for career day

steals my prescription for show and tell
and says it’s the battery for his daddy’s body

every night he writes Santa a letter
asking for needles like mine so we can match

and before bed he begs me to tell him a bedtime scenario
this time I say     can you imagine going ice fishing

at the nearby manmade lake and pulling up to a cemetery
bursting through the water and somehow forgiving it

or the fat of my thigh
no longer holding onto the needle that pierces it

before kissing him goodnight
and turning on his hand-me-down lava lamp night light

there’s a quietness everywhere the earth once fell into me
there’s a tiny Matt in the backseat of my car

singing the Jenny Lewis songs
he found in my Bandcamp library

as we drive to the in-laws
on Christmas morning

he asks what testosterone enanthate is
I say        it’s what made having you possible buddy

and he looks disappointed
b/c it isn’t something more magical

he says Arlo taught him cusses at recess
but that he’s not supposed to ever say them

and then he asks if there are things
I’m never allowed to say

so I tell him         let’s never say something will come back,
we don’t wanna end up dead.

 

image: Aaron Burch


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