lingual heredity 

my dad carries a tape recorded hymn
into the ceiling. an attic is an attic
is an attic. where did you learn
to quaver? angels are no trust worthy
even when they offer you 
light white cake. i wear
a fork around my neck. 
a bell rung upside down
is no longer a bell. dad harmonizes 
without a tongue. i open a box
of spiders on the porch & they crawl
down my throat. light campfires
all up my esophagus. one of them
is my dad. the sky scraper
burns: a statue
of the god we don't talk about.
manhole cover openning to reveal
an unblinking eye. pigs hold truths
in their skin & their hooves.
they stalk alleyways in search
of a morsel. are you 
my dad? are you? he makes puppets 
from the altar boy robes. a cord 
is easily tied tighter. 
for years i was held together
with only cords. one for each wrist.
dad assembles a mass 
for his teeth.
presses play on the tape recorder
& out comes a rusted warble.
all the doors in my house
turn into bat wings.
if we don't pin the attic down
it will surely slip away.
i pick up large rocks. 
look for dad underneath. he is 
a grub & a salamander.
his tap recorder stuck
to the ceiling of my kitchen
trying to catch my voice.
if he gets your voice 
it's over. he will find 
a nice vase for you.
i was a lily once & my face
fell apart petal by petal.
i rotted from the stem 
to the roof of my mouth. i love 
my dad very much. he is 
a good dad & leaves me
packages on the porch.
i open with caution. 
(yes, the spiders). once
he gave me all the love
i wanted & i wept until 
my bones turned to salt. 
now, there is mass to be held
& a finger to put
to my lips. my tongue
is gone & in its place
a bell clapper.

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