it was sooner than we thought--
the red number in the drain. the shoe
hovering just above a slam. all the tea leaves
had promised at least a decade but then
oceans turned inside out. slugs fell
like tears. barefoot, i went out to the garage
where my father knit his coffin
from steel wool & ice. told him
not to worry anymore. what comes to pass
will come to pass. the cloud of noise
floating just over the highway. he stared
like a pin cushion's face. i packed all my love
into jelly jars. watched it buzz & limp.
ate false strawberries with bare hands
& wiped the stain off on any availible lampost.
up the street, a home was being auctioned off
to a hedge fund or a ghost. i'm rooting
for the ghost. in the crawl space
cats were telling their children the truth.
i wish someone would have done so to me
when i was small & pink-handed. instead,
bibles rung like bells. i washed my face
in the occasional river. then the time
rushing like a slit throat. everything outward
even the orange heart. even the woven basket.
even the new blanket. even the
school of minnows. even the elsewhere
& the maybe maybe somewhere. all that gone.
silk like & blue. kneeling on a tongue.
my father worked & worked
& it was still not here & i still
was the only one watching as the numbers
shed themselves--as the sun shrank & swallowed--
as the coffin became a slipper-- as a moment
became a bookshelf thing. a paperweight
arriving tethered to a white balloon.