Saturday, January 11, 2014

a (no) nonsense poem

HONING STONE

My first father 
has finally done it
locked the moon outside
and returned these old bones
to whoever made them

but before

I am a boy sitting
on my new father’s lap learning
how to please his lover
how to drive, and stand right
how she says to be a man
as though it were not a list of things to give up
but a thing to be

keep your blue
sky and book, mother
I am safe in here
where I have not left
since the day I learnt
to rid a dim room
of the specter of death

sometimes they find a body
a place to visit
a stone to tend
we depart in different ways and
the living love ritual
they return each time to the place of leaving
posturing their hurts into place

no one except Yeager asks
have you ever had a haircut so bad you cried?
and what if you had, had your hair cut that way each day
would you learn to love it, to bear it or would you turn one day
suddenly, they will say, and slit that barber’s throat

I am new as my father now
and unrepentant
as those who weed his burial ground
and for me?
who will offer their feet as sacrement
to visit this body
whose fingers are needles
and his tongue more so
where to sit, if today 
the door should open swift as a razor

no, I am old and slow 
as my new father never was
a boy sitting on his lap
a mother watching
let her learn how to be without a man
as though it were a thing to be

and not a list of things 
to give up

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