06/18

grenade crates

my father puts the weaponry to sleep.
cradles each bomb & each detonation.
in the basement, he collects war 
like flowers. waters a machine gun 
& stroke the forehead of a missile.
drinks amber beer from a thermos & 
reminisces about never happened. everyone 
is a son every so often. when i stand 
in doorways i am one. i belong
to my father & his beloved destructions.
a hole in the stairwell wall where
he became a puncture. anger is syrupy.
sticks shoes to the kitchen floor.
attracts ants & cockroaches. once,
i bought a single bullet. a secret.
carried it under my tongue safe to my bedroom.
sat it on the windowsill & listened 
to silver hum. my little child waiting 
for me to show him my own threats. 
i couldn't do it. fired him into the ceiling
where he escaped & is now a hot air balloon.
yet still i miss his danger when he
could have inhabited a barrel. when he could have
thrown himself straight ahead. i tell my father
i love him more than anyone else in my family.
he digs the basement wider to have more room
for the weaponry. have you ever been
an arsenal? i fear i will wake up as one.
will see him standing over me, ready 
to make use of my design. when i'm not a son
i shake boyhood off like a dandelion 
losing her face. i crouch in the grass
& converse with the machinery of cicadas.
listen to my father's bones
as he builds another basinett 
for a grenade to sleep in.

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