I WROTE A PUDDLE WORD
It’s not just river clay that plies between my fingers,
dimes between my dirt-tables turned and turned
within the fossil-light, but the lone and sickly-green
photo of my ugly brother’s winsome form splayed
across the yard. Upon his birth the nurse rose immediately,
proclaimed him unsturdy, that a backwards life would be
best for him. Never to be electrocuted or forced to wear
a rubber suit a milestone north of here was the best
they could hope in their struggling beds. Extremely
educated teachers, poets of the blackened soul’s
one scalding bath, howled a life cursed with
perfect recall never to escape the burden of infancy
or the cost involved in that. I would come in when
so ordered, pour the piss-pot off the porch and slather
back their doubts. The white-washed walls of the dead
do not represent what happened, before or after the killed
cats and dogs, though of all of us he’s done the best keeping
the old ghosts off his bed. Don’t open that book!
he’d cry as I settled by his side to read aloud.
Open the window! Look!