I think good things
I think good things come from the south
unimpeded by my demands about what is necessary
or what will serve.
The river delta is in the south.
I feel its urge,
impossibly ascending from subterranean origins.
I place obstacles in the way
but the river is a strong god. You
will never coerce the river.
In its brown water, something
brushes against us, a branch,
or was it living? It is gone.
The river takes everything.
When you know something
you just know it
no one can tell you otherwise.
I hit my little sister in the face with a rock
and knocked her out when she was six.
I was there
threw the rock across the backyard
watched her crumple like a ragdoll
thrilled at the definition of a parabola
nearly visible in midair
against the backdrop of birch forest.
I can't prove it.
But I know it happened.
Memory at best is an echo which
repeated long enough
Is my witness alone sufficient?
You say you know Jesus.
Just . . . you know.
You can't prove that any more
than I can prove I knocked
my little sister the fuck out with a rock.
I declare it on my authority.
I am the proof of my witness.
Many times says the wife I fall
down the stairs hoping to get
your attention and you give me only broken ankles
What are you saying says the man
I have over fifty seven broken ankles my toes are not
much better off and my femur reeks of gangrene
Are you saying I push you down the stairs because I do
not love you the way I love a hot cabbage says the man
I am saying that I am killing myself for your love and all
you do is sniff your fingers
The stairs are draped in clothing says the man
Did I mention my knees are shattered because you do not love me and I smashed my face at the bottom
Please please I am trying to think says the man
Oh now it is your problem says the wife I am tying this
tourniquet and leaving you
Must you make so much noise when you walk screams
the man your insides rattle like a bag of broken glass
When I am gone your mouth will open and no one will
boil your oats
Must you must you must you go on says the man can't
you see I'm eating
Poems from Other Days