self portrait as American Gothic 

you & i hung a tiny window
in the attic & asked the light 
to walk through walls. draped
star-covered clothe across glass.  
whose faces
are these? my gender 
has a wife. i want to be sturdy.
we laugh into paper bags
& save our joy for the winter 
when even the field has no teeth.
ten years ago was a bad harvest
& i still remember raking
bare dirt. we ate
sharing the same spoon.
i tied her shoes & she tied mine.
car won't start so i reach
my hand into the beast.
knick my knuckles on gears
& smudge corners of my bones.
she wonders to the barn 
where we rumor an owl is perched.
she says, "who who?"
to call the bird but nothing comes.
a stray cat mews 
& vanishes into the hay.
i come out to join her.
a sunset is on its way 
like a lesion or a bruise.
my thighs are heavy 
with rubble. her face
a sundial in the dark. 
we stand a foot or so apart 
& say nothing. soon, night 
pickles our tongues. 
the stalks of corn in the field
hush hush hush & she stays
while i go inside, still clutching
my implement. i think of devils
& their pitch forks.
i wonder where in my body
all my evil lays dormant.
i pray to god 
to make us worthy people.
my hands ache. i light a candle
in the living room
& wait for her to come inside.

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