i open my hand
have you ever noticed the sound of the train
lagging over the tracks? it’s about midnight,
i hear it—right down the Abenteen road,
and if i paused right here
it’s a place i could consider as good as home;
i can’t remember the last time I was—
no, I won’t finish the thought, wouldn’t want you to know.
Effigies of bird-shit
wavered in his tone—y’know the one,
you know you’re being a fool in his eyes
kind of like that Tom Waits’ song
voice caught, foot on foot plays,
we recognize this not when we’re first in love;
I wouldn’t know, never had one,
I always preferred the voice in the back,
telling me, no good, no good,
and honestly? I preferred it that way.
I’d go away
sure, back to the pair of legs in my bed
a sheet on which I’ll die on
came and went, the outline of my son
[a doe-eyed cat]
I had forgotten he was in my blanket;
his eyes ghost-wide, I watch tenderly
and shit, I can almost believe he knows something about me.
I talk to him in my head sometimes before realizing
I never spoke anything aloud.
[pitiful, but don’t say I enjoyed doing it]
Does he know the small part of me
looking to the window,
reading papers, that I’m just imagining
the new England trance
my family blood is dying in?
It’s ok, I’m not sad about that
because look, I don’t know them
they’re distant; above red
leaves, they crowd me out
of past-to-be and present
I think, instead, about my dad who showed
me a world of sand in his footprints;
the dead-at-last grass when we moved; it’s yellow all over now
near a quiet road;
my mom laughing when I was under the bed [the sound strangely
makes me feel okay]
after stealing too much food from the fridge
[and I would pick up the landline and listen in on phone-calls];
not even fully awake, I heard voices;
getting into a city
with no thread of flowers
to plant your feet on, and into morning air
at a hotel room
remembering that’s what home felt like.
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Written for the MTB 12/16/2021 dVerse prompt as a response to David Whyte’s Blessing for Light and Blessing for Sound poems.