heimlich maneuvers for gramophones
i begged for the crab apple tree. watched its hearts
burst under my shoes as they shed on the driveway.
sour little horns, brass in their shaking.
a mouth piece gets lodged in my throat
in the middle of the night & i pace the hallway
with goose noise until i can get it out.
in the attic is my father's gramophone
& whole skeletons of records--their gills repleat
with dead men's voices. what does it feel like
to give a sound over to etching. i would make a record
of your laughter, play it over & over. the gramophone
was choking & we were alone. i knew it was a crab apple
by the way the creature doubled over like hopscotch.
coughed & coughed. no matter how wide
the narrow returns. breath comes & goes through
an opening the size of a cherry. spit a pit
& make a hole through the window. almost everything
is perminable. the dying gramophone tried to sing.
i saw ghost pigeons fall from his mouth.
driveway sick with sweet & syrup. how to account
for all the sugar? i reached inside. i told
the music to hold still as possible. searching
i find water & ocean drowning. feel fish thrum
against the back of my hand. wisps of cattails.
the kiss of lilies. i reach the crab apple
hard & vibrating. pull it out & throw it far away
across to the next town. the gramophone gasps.
lays & stares at the sun. more crab apples fall
at our feet. i carry his noise in buckets
back up to the attic before i cradle him there too.
memory is then maybe about who is gathering
& not what is gathered. humid in the attic
i ask him to play a song. instead he plays bird songs
he heard while he thought he was dying.