52 SONGS

...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

S.P. Poem #20: Things I Got


Kids! I don’t remember asking my wife,

split in two. I watched it with my own eyes.


I asked all right, for all sorts of things,

low-hanging fruit, milk shakes, a CD of some band,


things I got. Gone or worn out. I can’t even

remember life last week. I remember


The Empire Strikes Back, standing in line,

running around later in the backyard


with the sugar blues working all out.

All was hazy, I didn’t know what it was.


Scared happy. We had a hill above the house

covered in ice plant, little purple flowers,


and my dog running around, I was kicking the air.

The kids are making sounds outside, snorting and


grunting. Animals. I could use something to drink,

coffee maybe. I’m telling you, my son


came out purple and wet and not breathing,

like a prosthetic baby. Years later now a pulse.


It was me, around ten, over the top of the skateboard ramp,

the quarter pipe at the dead end, six or seven feet up,


over the back of it, no helmet and into the wood

pile behind. My neck was broken, I thought,


I’m gonna die walking around gasping.

That’s what it was like. It wasn’t the ice plant hill


with me Han and my dog. It was a little nightmare.

They used a suction cup to pull on his head,


I was awake, and they’re asking again

for something out on the grass. Knock it off.


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